South African Official Proposes Ban on Digital Porn

May 28, 2010 1:00 PM PST

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The continuing debate over the distribution of porn in South Africa has heated up as a government official has proposed a complete ban on digitally distributed pornography.

According to a report by the BBC, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba petitioned both the country's Law Reform Commission and the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA) — a group that has written its own bill on the issue.

Gigaba is asking if a change in the existing law is possible.

"Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts. There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it," Gigaba said.

The JASA proposal wants a ban that covers TV and mobile phones be implemented in the form of filters set by internet service providers, similar to what’s been done in Australia and China.

A security firm expert told the BBC, "One wonders how on earth a democracy like South Africa would be able to introduce such a system, as it's not as though the state has 100 perent control over telecommunications."

"Although their intentions may be honorable, it's barking mad to think you will be able to completely outlaw pornography from the web which, is after all, the modern equivalent of the wild west."

The report said a terrestrial television channel called ETV caused a storm of controversy when it began broadcasting adult material after midnight in 2002.

A proposal this year by satellite broadcaster Multichoice to offer a 24-hour pornography channel was abandoned after a deluge of complaints.

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