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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) - as of 1 July the newly formed face of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications Authority - has banned hard-core porn from mobile phones.

According to various media reports, mobile operators will not be allowed to punt X18+ content or anything which has been refused classification. They will also be obliged to check customers' ages before ejaculating "less offensive" (MA15+ or R18+) moboporn. Furthermore, operators will have to monitor chat room services.

The announcement will come as a terrible blow to the burgeoning Australian 3G market. Vodafone, Telstra and Optus will this year join Hutchison in offering high-speed access to top-notch services, but God alone knows how they're going to recoup their licence fees if they can't offer anything spicier than live Aussie rules football.

As any well-informed pundit knows, the whole future of 3G hangs on online gambling and pornography. No-one is interested in MMS or the Premiership beamed live to your handset on a two inch square screen. What people really want is the ability to play real-time poker while on the train to work, and download naked people while in the pub.

Australia's persistent nannyism attacks not only the fundamental tenets of personal freedom, but also prevents honest, hard-working mobile operators from exerting their God-given right to make huge profits. This undemocratic and anticapitalist rampage must stop, and it must stop now. ®

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