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Wednesday, 30 October 2019 11:14

Govt wants to know what you look like when watching porn

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Govt wants to know what you look like when watching porn Pixabay

The Australian Government wants to know what you look like when you are watching porn online so that it can use its face verification system to deny access to those below the legal age (which in this case is 16).

This sounds like a crazy idea, but no, there it is, in black and white, from the good people at the Department of Home Affairs in a submission to an inquiry by the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Social Policy.

Of course, as people are aware, one does not look the same at all stages of watching porn online (you get my meaning, I'm sure).

So how will photos from drivers' licences and passports help to identify someone trying to get his/her rocks off and promptly pin them down as being below the age of permission?

Lest anyone think one is trying to poke fun at this august ministry, the title of its submission says it all: "Submission to the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography."

Yes, valuable taxpayer dollars were spent on an exercise (?) of this nature, something which has attracted at least 140 submissions.

It's instructive that the bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security rejected both the identity-matching bill and a passports amendment bill in their current form and asked the government to redraft them.

And just 13 days ago, the UK Government dropped plans for age-verification for watching online porn – though it had planned to ask the sites to take on the job of blocking underage people.

The Home Affairs submission may have come before the rejection of the bills by the PJCIS, but to dub it anything other than the work of Luddites would be laughable.

What's the next idea from the ministry – a national database of dick pics?

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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