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South Africa Considers a Ban on Pornography

Proposed ban would cover all digital distribution channels, including television, mobile and internet

South Africa Considers a Ban on Pornography

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—Like dominoes, countries are continuing to fall victim to the idea of censoring all pornography. Unlikely compatriots as role models for the trend, Australia and China are the poster countries for sweeping bans on sexual expression. South Africa is now considering following them down the rabbit hole.

According to the BBC, “Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has approached the country's Law Reform Commission to ask whether a change in the law is possible.”


Gigaba wants a complete ban on digitally distributed porn that would include television, mobile devices and the internet.

"Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts. ... There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it," reasoned Gigaba.

The article says, “Internet security experts have dismissed the idea as ‘madness,’” and cites Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos as stating that previous attempts by other nations to ban pornography have not been successful.

"One wonders how on earth a democracy like South Africa would be able to introduce such a system, as it's not as though the state has 100 percent control over telecommunications," he told the BBC. "Although their intentions may be honorable, it's barking mad to think you will be able to completely outlaw pornography from the web which is, after all, the modern equivalent of the Wild West."

Or maybe the idea is simply barking mad.

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Tom Hymes


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