Australia's smut-shocked senators seek net censorship (again)

Politicians worry pr-n's getting nastier, so fire up committee to learn how just how nasty

A perennial silly season story has resurfaced for the umpteenth time, with a cross-party gaggle of Australian senators fretting about Internet pornography.

A motion passed nearly unnoticed by the Senate last week will establish an inquiry into the impact of pornography on Australian children. The full motion, here, was backed by the Australian Labor Party's Senator Joe Bullock, the Democratic Labor Party's John Madigan, and Liberals Joanna Lindgren and Chris Back.

The motion claims pornography is easy to get online, and is becoming more violent (for which “citation needed” might be a reasonable response).

It calls on the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee to hold an inquiry, with a December 2016 report date, looking at the trend of children's consumption of porn, how various jurisdictions handle this, and what measures could be implemented in Australia.

Australia already has a block-list administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Under that regime, the ACMA can order a take-down of material that the Office of Film and Literature Classification considers “refused classification”.

The ACMA's footprint does not, naturally enough, extend overseas, which makes the Senate's motion look like there will be renewed calls in 2016 for some kind of smut-filter applied to the Australian Internet. ®

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