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back to article South African Bill to block all porn

As South Africa prepares to welcome the World Cup to its shores, plans by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to block all porn from entering the country suggest that soon the only ball control that its citizens will legally be allowed to watch will be taking place on a football pitch – in front of a crowd of thousands. In …

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Topless beach photos

What if a lady is sunbathing and takes some holiday snaps. Is this now classed as pr0n?

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Unhappy

Do you realise what this means?!

SA Reg readers won't get to see any more Asus Eee PC stories!

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WTF?

Great logic

According to Gigaba: "Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts, it is not an extra that consumers have to pay for. There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it."

Surely : "Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts to prevent unnecessary deaths both of the driver, but morally more significantly, of innocent others. This equipment is therefore not optional, and ALL drivers must pay for it in the price of their cars.

Pornography does not cause death and does not harm others in any manner more statistically significant than, for example, eating fish - therefore building in non-optional restrictions into the viewing of pornography reflects an arbitrary moral standpoint on sexuality which will cause considerably more persecution and suffering of others through politically motivated witch-hunts than were it left unrestricted."

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As well...

Brakes and seatbelts are not restrictive, but protective equipment, and morally most significantly, are always* under the control of those who've paid for the car and will be held responsible for its use.

Internet filtering of certain sites/contents is more akin to fitting every car with a GPS which will restrict travel to only certain locations, overriding the steering wheel if the driver attempts to go elsewhere.

* With the exception of some Toyota owners, people in bad '80s action movies, et al.

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It's not feasible

Batshit insane, computer illiterate South African politians show they are even more stupid and/or naive than their Australian brethren.

It's like them saying that the letter 't' is now banned and, by law, all ISPs must filter out any traffic containing the aforementioned letter.

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WTF?

This is getting old...

Why oh why oh why oh why are these people allowed?

Allowed to what I hear you cry!

Allowed to take positions of power.

Allowed to impose their views on the people at large.

Allowed to suppress individual choice.

Allowed to mandate unnecessary restrictions in the name of protection for individuals.

Allowed to get out of bed in the morning FFS!

So by allowing anything other than filtered http on port 80, ISPs would risk prosecution?

R.e. "It's like them saying that the letter 't' is now banned and, by law, all ISPs must filter out any traffic containing the aforementioned letter." If you haven't already, give 'Ella Minnow Pea' by Mark Dunn a read - the powers that be ban letters of the alphabet.

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Oh, those naughty bits!

I think you'll find it's the letters I and O that get banned for being similar to 'naughty bits'.

As the ISPs won't want to risk the punishment they'll err on the safe side and filter the numbers 1 and 0 as well - no more naughty bits.

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Nope, in my case...

...it's a capitalised "J". Dammit.

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Big Brother

Didn't the Greeks...

...outlaw the letter Z in the late '60s?

How well did that work out for them?

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WTF?

it's simple really

most of us have given up killing these idiots on sight.

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Does this guy...

have shares in Hustler or something? From this article it appears that paper-based pr0n is ok

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Boffin

How does the Home Affairs Minister define what is and what is not porn?

Or does he just know it when he sees it?

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Happy

The Americans tried this before...

...in some local legislation, for what state , I can't remember.

The result was , the legislation was VERY detailed, and, as a result, the legislative paper itself was declared obscene by its own standards.

Think it's either a brown bag or blue pencil job at crown publications again.

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Nice....

....backdoor effort in killing off sex education and aids prevention, meguesses. And also a practice round for the implementation of the nuts, bolts and gears of a totalitarian state.

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If you want a highly technically literate youth

block all porn.

That wont stop it being accessible, but it will require a bit of serious effort, and the only people who wont be able to access it will be the older generation, who will be free to run the country and visit prostitutes.

Everyone wins.

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FAIL

Comparison to seat belts?

I dont really think that most people want their internet filtered a la China like they want seatbelts in their cars.

Methinks it's the old "freedom from" argument that most dictators use.

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FAIL

Where do these numpties come from?

Politicians without a clue, OR politicians under increasing "religious" pressure.

Pretty soon, we'll all have to shower in our underwear, lest we catch a glimpse of something naughty!

South Africa should know better.

Australia should know better.

The radical Muslim states, well who gives a fig?

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FAIL

all have to shower in our underwear

You don't already? There'll be a knock at your door shortly.

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Unhappy

On one hand they ban porn, but look at how the president of ZA acts!

On one hand they ban porn because it is offensive to woman, but on the other the president marries several woman at the same time and fathers 21 children that the local tax payers need to support. The tax payers in South Africa pay around R15 million each year to support his growing family...

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Zuma-dad-for-the-21st-time-20100531

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Flame

This would be the same Jabob Zuma...

...who believes that taking a shower after sex reduces your risk of contracting HIV.

Three words spring to mind:

Bat.

Shit.

Insane.

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Wonderful World

So I guess they're gonna have a nice network with no ssh or https, no VPN traffic and probably no torrents.

ports 25 and 80 only and then only where the traffic is in plain text, no gzipping or compression.

after that you change your block lists to include any image cache sites (google this includes you) and anything that can do searching in case you get led to the wrong site by using terms like "Analyst" or "Analysis" and some joker can't spell analist ...

then you put in place firewalls that look for flesh tones on pictures and block anything over 30% ...

The next step is to drop all connections of anyone looking for these sites on more than 1 occasion ...

there you go, you're at the point where noone would in their right mind even bother to use the internet ... especially since if you're in south africa you can just go and see porn, violence and rape on the streets whenever you want.

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Coat

Sir

", you're at the point where noone would in their right mind even bother to use the internet"

Quote right - Porn paid for the internet and to a large extent, still does.

Biting the hand that feeds IT?

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WTF?

I don't get it

What exactly is he trying to accomplish here?

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Anonymous Coward

not

Not like South Africa doesn't have any real problems to worry about, gun violence, poverty, AIDS/HIV...

But porn is the new government sock puppet of distraction, everyone is more then ready to jump on the moralist hobby horse, expect similar things here in the UK in a few years. We'll make the 50s look like an era of love and tolerance.

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FAIL

Well....

what will they blame on one of the worlds highest rape numbers on when this has gone? Poverty? Poor policing? Family break down? Low Morales? Any other thing that's hard to tackle?

Nah, sure it will be TV next....

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Yeah, whatever

Go ahead, try to ban it.

It used to be alcohol, now it's porn.

Won't matter, guys. Alcohol made it through, so will porn. You can squeeze as tight as you want, there will always be a way and as long as there is a demand, there will be somebody stepping up to monetize that market.

Personally I find that there are more pressing issues for any country than using resources and legislation to ban a perfectly normal and historically unavoidable human behavior, but hey, who ever said that politics took care of important stuff ?

They just take care of those who yell loudest. And, it would seem, in South Africa the puritanically frigid are yelling very loudly at the moment.

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Coat

@Pascal Monett

"You can squeeze as tight as you want"

That's just a delaying tactic...

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"...as the actress said to the bishop!"

LOL!

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FAIL

at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorists..

The big money flows into africa now are coming from the right wing fascist christians in the USA - largely the Focus on Family wankers.

They spend shed loads of money propping up the radical christian churches out there

and they have a few major items on their agenda:

1) kill the gays - tho of course, they call it something else

2) banish all porn

3) outlaw all other religions

Because they bring big money, they find scum sucking (as opposed, I guess to cum sucking) politicians who will push any agenda for the right money.

This, people, is not a good thing.

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China, not the USA

I think that you'll find the big money flowing into Africa today is from China. There are many articles on the web showing China's investment and return on Africa right now.

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The law of nature

If you take a closer look at any moral crusader what you'll find will be a rotten corrupt crook. It's a law of nature. So, Mr South African Porn Fighter will not be an exception.

Perhaps, he owns brothels or paper based porn publishers in the country or we will see that some ISPs will be given a "licence" to distribute porn and the licences will have to be approved by the minister himself. Or, maybe, there will only be one ISP allowed to let the porn through and that will turn out to be owned by the minister's senior wife...

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The march of the censors

They took away pornography and I didn't protest, because I didn't watch porn.

They took away 18-rated games and I didn't protest, because I didn't play games.

They took away my freedom of speech and I couldn't protest anymore.

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Stop

I hereby invoke

the Niemöller corollary of Godwin's law...

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Oh how PW Botha laughs...

The government in South Africa has come full circle.

Pieter-Dirk Uys, the South African satirist, came to the attention of many people because of the Apartheid government's prudish views on things like pornography. And he was so right when he said that he never could have imagined that the new post-Apartheid government would be providing him with much more writing material than PW Botha and his cronies ever did.

Oh how PW Botha is laughing from his grave now... This bill pretty much returns South Africa to the same state it was in in the seventies, where magazines like Scope had to use stars on the nipples and nether regions of the ladies to preserve their modesty.

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Sensible move if you ask me

If I wanted to keep the monies spent by onanists in SA during the games what better way than to make sure the said onanists share their pleasure and pay for the local sex workers to trade STD's.

For those looking for a quick profit I'd imagine SA rubber glove and skip shares would be worth a punt.

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Grenade

No safer sex than masturbation.

South Africa's moral guardians have a huge problem with sex amongst their populace, especially with an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV and AIDS in 2009.

If they really cared, well for the males at least (we all know women don't watch porn !-) they would offer free computers and porn and preach the virtues of a safe ejaculation into a nice antibacterial tissue.

Or, they could do what most developed societies do and concentrate on building up a decent economy that provides decent jobs and work. Nothing like dreary old work to put your mind off sex.

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Filtering pron...

Filtering pron... excellent idea. Bound to work.

To simulate, here's a bucket and spade. There's a beach. Build a dam and stop the sea coming in. You have 6 hours.

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Grenade

Just trying to make the network stretch further?

SA has pretty awful connectivity; my chums down there are always reporting bandwidth problems and outages. Currently I hear there is a cut in an undersea cable that has dramatically reduced capacity, and the rumour is that SA has handed 90% of the nation's remaining capacity over to FIFA for the duration of the World Cup. My contacts tell me they are already enjoying an unannounced 'two hours on, two hours off' regime on their connection, with availability switching precisely on the hour, and expect it to become very much worse soon...

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cabling

if the copper has not been stolen from the ground- you can enjoy the internet.

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FAIL

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I used to live in the UAE and the "blocking" there was a joke - It was enforced as only one carrier provided internet at the time (Etisalat). Not sure if that's changed since but back then you could bypass it by using an offshore proxy / some HTTP tunnelling.

It also used to operate on a blacklist basis (I suppose whitelisting the entire internet is little too challenging) so as new proxies / anonymiser services became available they were usually accessible for months/years until Etisalat finally caught on.

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Stop

lest we forget

1 in 4 South African men have admitted to raping a woman.

South Africa has the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world.

There are 100 murders or attempted murders per day.

Porn is not a problem in SA at the moment, but the world cup going there is a travesty.

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Big Brother

How can they tell?

The ISPs will be jailed if they let porn through? (How do you jail a company by the way?)

Exactly how are they supposed to tell what is porn? Quite apart from the impossibility of scanning such a gigantic flow of data, some stuff can only be tested in court.

So a ridiculous chilling effect, as they'll have to ban anything that any demented prosecutor might claim to be porn. (Such as for instance anything supporting opposition politicians, maybe?)

Of course some blocks on obvious porn will be relatively easy, such as scanning for the Olympics 2012 logo and blocking any site displaying it.

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Yeah.

That'll work. Sheesh.

(Eye-rolling icon?)

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This is what sovereignty is about

Sovereign nations mean sovereign policies. I don't recall there being a universal right to view pornography or anything else. This human rights stuff only works if everyone accepts it, which everyone does not.

Really, is this the business of anyone but those living in South Africa? You don't want censorship of porn in the UK or wherever you are, fine, work against it *there*. You don't like South Africa's policy? Don't visit South Africa. Don't buy goods from South Africa. But don't sit there and say that there is some law above that of nations and make it so that law is always one that just happens to fit *your* sensibilities. Others don't agree. Did you ever think that such censorship might be *popular* in South Africa?

In the end, unless you are going to take over the world, then you are going to have to accept that other nations will do things differently, things you might not like.

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Badgers

And freedom..

..means being able to take the piss.

Unless of course you have extreme porn laws.

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FAIL

Re: This is what sovereignty is about #

Yeah. Right. Blocking porn *popular*? Dream on. The younger generation, the internet generation, shameless love porn. Attempts such as this are but the dying wishes of an older generation, completely out of touch with the new world.

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Headmaster

Re: This is what sovereignty is about

OMG - you are so right!

So, if there were a country outside the UK - let's say somewhere in Europe - and they decided that the least popular members of their society were best kept out of the way of all the "nice" people, in their own little areas of town, that would be OK? It would probably be popular with all those not "rehoused".

And in that case, you should also be OK if they "relocate" these undesirables to camps outside the cities? That would also be popular with those that count. And by your arguments that must be fine and none of my business as I live in the UK.

And these camps are expensive to maintain - why not just relocate the "guests" underground?

Do you still really think that we have no right to comment on what people in other countries do?

Icon: I think this guy may be called Godwin

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FAIL

@DaggersEdge

None of the South Africans who I have met (living in the UK) have been fundamentalist nutjobs. I seriously doubt any of them would advocate what is being done here, but maybe that is why they live here, rather than in SA?

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Of course I'm right

You can comment about what other countries do all you like, if your country permits it, but, in the end, countries are sovereign nations. That means that they can do as they like unless other countries get involved. Do you think anyone is going to start a war over porn? Or even some other diplomatic effort of some sort? Get real.

Censorship is an *internal* matter for South African. You don't like it? Then don't visit South Africa, and don't buy goods made there. But don't act as if South Africa *can't* censor porn. It can. Don't act as if there is some higher right that says it can't. There isn't any such right.

And yes, censorship of porn will be popular with some people, maybe many people, maybe even the majority of people in South Africa. Not everyone agrees with the West about porn. Not everyone sees sex as something to be commercialised.

The funny thing is that the people opposed to my comments are probably the same people who are all for 'diversity'. 'Diversity': everyone can have his own opinion as long as it is politically-correct. Everyone can be 'diverse' as long as they do and think the same things.

And as for a European nation killing an unpopular group, disappearing them, whatever, well, if no other country cares, and if it stays an internal matter, then that is what will happen. And so what? This is the way it has always been. Even if the world had a single ruler, do you think it would be any different? It's not as if the politically-correct aren't willing to destroy people - take away their livelihoods, bar them from society, imprison them - for simply saying things with which they don't agree. Do you think pretending these things won't happen if everyone embraces porn or whatever else *you* want them to embrace will change things?

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re "as if South Africa *can't* censor porn"

Quite simply - they really can't. They can certainly ATTEMPT to censor anything they damn well please, and we will all quite happily ridicule them for the attempt, but it is simply not possible for them to censor porn from the internet. Just like it was not possible for Iran to censor citizens reports of their election in 2009.

Any politician who honestly believes they can stop their citizens transferring any data they like over the internet, without cutting the cables completely and stopping all non-government-sanctioned communication with the outside world, is a COMPLETE FUCKING MORON.

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