Razer: ‘Get your grubby mitts off my porn, Conroy’
Sunday January 25th 2009, 7:14 pm

Senator Conroy merkin, only $19.95...

In her SMH opinion piece from yesterday, Helen Razer both demands that Senator Conjob not interfere with her ‘private internet time’- and bravely admits to being a pornocriminal.

Australia has some of the most restrictive censorship laws in the English-speaking world. It is unlawful under Australia’s long existent draconian censorship regime to possess sexually explicit materials which have not been vetted by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC). Under OFLC rules, you can only legally buy ‘softcore’ porn in what are known as ‘restricted premises’ (aka adult shops) in most of Australia, including NSW. Only in the ACT & NT can you even legally buy explicit sexual imagery. In the meantime, every single internet viewer of explicit sexual imagery in Australia is a criminal waiting to be arrested, under the OFLC regime.

Thing is, since the advent of residential internet access in Australia in the early 1990s, the OFLC haven’t had a hope in hell of vetting any image or video that goes sailing through the intertubes, pornographic or not. For that reason alone, the OFLC is largely impotent and irrelevant. The OFLC in fact only still exists because of that very impotency. If OFLC really could censor what porn Australians are already downloading (and uploading, for that matter), there’d be riots in the streets. As proved by the 2003 OFLC attempt to ban the film Ken Park for graphic sex content, everyone who wanted a copy was able to download it. The film’s producers saw not a penny from any of those downloads- and quite frankly, should have sued the pants off the OFLC.

Since 2003, broadband internet access in Australia has become much more available, as have BitTorrent technologies, which spread file sharing distribution such that an easily blockable single server is no longer necessary to make any sort of data file broadly available worldwide, immune to government filtering or censorship.

If you think Australians are serious about their beer, as Razer notes, they’re downright bolshie about their porn. Senator Conroy wants to make the internet conform to Australia’s film and literature censorship laws. In the extraordinarily unlikely event that Labor’s mandatory filtering scam is successful, not only will they bolster the business of ‘restricted premises’ to a degree they’ve never before known (does Conroy or other Labor pol own an interest in any porn shops, I wonder?), but will also very likely create a mountainous public backlash that will see both Labor voted out of government after only one term and the dissolution of the OFLC.

Aside from the unproven claims of a few anti-porn extremists, there’s no psychological evidence that use (or creation) of nonviolent pornography by adults as part of a healthy sex life is in any way harmful to anyone. However, as is usually the case with any manner of prohibition, bans force it all ‘underground.’ Everything from pinup cheesecake to violent rape fantasy porn is far away from public scrutiny, thusly making all porn much more available, inclusive of violent and exploitative sorts.

Won’t somebody think of Helen’s sex life?


3 Comments so far
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great articles both yours and Helen’s.

What always gets me is that one of the only two places x rated porn is legally available in this country is the ACT – home of Conroy’s parliament. Doesn’t he see the irony?

Comment by OzAtheist 01.26.09 @ 9:38 pm

Thanks Oz.

Helen did what few are willing to do to advance the argument, which is admit to being a porn user. I don’t think it’s really necessary to be a user/participant to be an advocate or to comment cogently on the issue, but it’s nonetheless important Helen did so.

I’ve rather thought that ACT’s accommodation of explicit porn HAD to have some convenience factor for Parliamentarians… but I think I’ll leave that to the imagination.

Every time- every single time a government tries to legislate morality, there’s an epic failure ahead, either through unenforcibility or in fact quite unintended promotion of the item governments are trying to ban.

Prohibition doesn’t work, never has, never will.

Comment by weez 01.26.09 @ 10:41 pm

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