Hardcore Web porn banned down under

Web wizards of Oz must find a way of blocking foreign sites

Asia-Pacific could be the focus of a tsunami of moral righteousness in the wake of Australia's decision to outlaw hardcore porn on the Internet. Politicians in Australia's Senate have piggy-backed existing legislation covering film classification to outlaw sexually explicit and violent content on the Net. Earlier this month Japan's parliament voted to outlaw child pornography on the Net. Japan is believed to be the source of 80 per cent of all kiddie porn on the Net. The Australian Broadcasting Authority, which polices the content of films down under, will have the power to order service providers to pull off sites containing porn. It will even have the power to block unsuitable material from being imported into Australia from foreign Web sites although exactly how this will be done is not yet clear. But ISPs in Australia aren't happy with the new legislation, which still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives. "Filtering content will be slow and expensive and may disadvantage us compared to the rest of the world," said James Steele, of the Web company Interactive Multimedia speaking to Bloomberg. ®

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