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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Does this guy...

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

  2. Anonymous Coward

    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."

    1. Steven Knox

      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.

  3. Chris Hatfield

    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.

    1. Hieronymus Coward

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        it's simple really

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

    2. Tequila Joe

      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.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        Nope, in my case...'s a capitalised "J". Dammit.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Didn't the Greeks...

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

      How well did that work out for them?

  4. Chris Hatfield

    Topless beach photos

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

    1. Thomas 4

      Do you realise what this means?!

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

  5. Anonymous Coward

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

    Or does he just know it when he sees it?

    1. Michael 28

      The Americans tried this before... 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.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      all have to shower in our underwear

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

  7. bean520

    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.

  8. emordnilap
    Thumb Up

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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:




  10. Planeten Paultje
    Thumb Down


    ....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.

  11. Bryce 2

    I don't get it

    What exactly is he trying to accomplish here?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      ", 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?

  13. Anonymous Coward


    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....

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    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.

    1. The Beer Monster

      @Pascal Monett

      "You can squeeze as tight as you want"

      That's just a delaying tactic...

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
        Thumb Up

        " the actress said to the bishop!"


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

  16. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    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...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Wayne

      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.

  18. Thomas 4

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I hereby invoke

      the Niemöller corollary of Godwin's law...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    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...

    1. William 6


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

  21. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    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.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  23. moonface

    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.

  24. Tom 7

    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.

  25. Christoph
    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.

  26. Craig 12

    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.

  27. Seanmon


    That'll work. Sheesh.

    (Eye-rolling icon?)

  28. Daggersedge

    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.

    1. M Gale

      And freedom..

      ..means being able to take the piss.

      Unless of course you have extreme porn laws.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      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.

    3. GettinSadda

      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

      1. Daggersedge

        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?

        1. Rattus Rattus

          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.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon


            You can't stop the signal.

            Even behind the wall of China there are ways through. I even got asked my a chap at Reuters once on how one could theoretically go about bypassing the Great Firewall of China so small groups of Christians could remain in touch with the outside world.

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Of course they can

            Step 1, ban the use of "unfiltered" connections to the outside world. (Actually enforcing that is a legal problem, not a technical one, but presumably there are a finite number of international cables entering SA and satellite ground stations that would merit particular police attention.)

            Step 2, for each filtered connection, the ISP is legally liable and so presumably puts a firewall-cum-proxy-server in the way that blocks everything except email and http.

            Step 4, each email and web page that cannot be fulfilled by the proxy's cache is directed to an employee of the ISP who has been granted a licence by the government to view the content and decide whether it is legal. It is then passed or blocked based on their judgement, at the ISP's legal risk.

            It is probably just about workable for static web pages and plain text emails.

    4. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge


      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?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No need to block...

    ... without porn, is there any need for the internet in South Africa?

  30. ravenviz Silver badge

    Naughty words: knickers, pants, bra, Y-fronts, briefs, thong, G-string

    Will I be allowed to shop online for underwear?

  31. The First Dave


    Does that include Picture Messaging - the article wasn't too clear on how much was being asked of the mobile companies...

    1. henrydddd

      South Africa

      Ii might be easier for the government to give out Net Nanny to everyone rather that blocking the port. And give long prison terms to people without Net Nanny on their putters.

  32. Graham Marsden


    South Africa has signed and ratified the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, Article 9 of which states that "1. Every individual shall have the right to receive information" so they agree that there *is* a right to "view pornography or anything else" unless they're going to start picking and choosing which information is acceptable for people to receive.

    And as this is the *African* Charter, it is at the very least the business of others on that continent apart from those living in South Africa since those others are "Firmly convinced of their duty to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights and freedoms and taking into account the importance traditionally attached to these rights and freedoms in Africa".

    Yes, other countries do things differently, but when they a) accept a set of rights but then b) start restricting those rights, someone needs to call them to account.

    1. Daggersedge

      So what? I'm still right.

      South Africa has changed its mind, redefined 'information' or whatever. Do you think any other African countries are going to do anything about it? Anything at all? As I said before and will say again, South Africa is a sovereign nation and can do as it likes unless other countries get involved, which they won't over porn.

      As for 'someone needs to call them into account' - ha! Why? What is so sacred about porn? What is so sacred about the commercialisation of sex? Do you hold shares in a porn film company or something?

      Why is everyone who opposes porn a 'fundamentalist nut job' or a 'control freak'? Seems to me that is just way you 'tolerance types' describe everyone who disagrees with *your* point of view: 'tolerate what I tolerate or I will brand you intolerant'. Yes, you are definitely for freedom: any colour as long as its black.

      And as for being against the restriction of rights, you aren't. None of you who post here are. This is a *moderated* forum and it informs you of that each and every time you submit a comment. Moderation is just another form of censorship. You have, all of you, accepted the principle of censorship so we are, indeed, just arguing about *what* can be censored.

      1. markfiend

        Moderation is NOT a form of censorship

        You are quite wrong.

        Freedom of speech means that the government aren't (or oughtn't be) allowed to tell me what I may or may not say within their jurisdiction. It does NOT mean that the owners of this site aren't allowed to tell me what I may or may not say *on this site*.

        There is a difference between the public sphere (of the internet in general) and private property (individual web sites). If you don't like what you're allowed to say (or not say) on this forum, you're quite FREE to go and set up your own. You're even free to set up the rules so that no-one is allowed to post dissenting opinions on your site.

        It's a bit more tricky for South Africans to go off and set up their own country...

        1. Daggersedge

          You're digging!

          So, what you are saying is that you *do* accept censorship, but only if done by private companies. So if the South African government contracts out censorship to privately-owned companies, say, ISPs, then you would be happy with that. The South African government could just secretly pay the ISPs to censor or overtly make it clear to them that they (the ISPs) will be held responsible for any porn that finds its way to, say, the eyes of children. Something like that.

          Censorship is censorship. It does not have to be overtly ordered by the government. Why do you think the Reg censors its forums? The libel law in the UK? Various 'hate crime' laws? Political correctness? Worry about some law that might be enacted in the future?

          As I said before, since you are posting here, you have accepted censorship. You've blindly accepted it, too, because as far as I know, the Reg has never explained why it moderates its forums.

          What you are really saying is that you are comfortable with there being some sort of *appearance* of free speech in a country, but free speech doesn't really have to exist, you just *want* to think it is possible. You just *want* to think, in some sort of abstract way, that you have that right and that others in some country you probably know little about and probably have never visited have that abstract right.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You're digging!

            I am with markfiend on this one...

            There is a difference in quality and kind between what we do at The Reg and, say, what China does to citizens who speak "out of turn".

            Our readers can voice their opinions elsewhere. Chinese citizens go to jail.

            Censorship should not be a catch-all term - real censors will simply co-opt arguments such as yours to justify and rationalise their actions.


            A moderator of a privately-owned website.

          2. Doshu


            It seems to me that you're missing a key (and perhaps subtle) nuance between two critical concepts here (regardless of your opinion on the matter, which you are of course entitled to).

          3. markfiend

            Reading comprehension fail

            Daggersedge: did you actually bother to read my post before springing in with your "Aha! Gotcha!"?

            I am very much in favour of free speech, and I am offended by your accusation that it's merely for appearance's sake. (But your freedom of speech is more important *to me* than any offence I might feel. If we were only to protect speech with which we agree, that's no freedom at all.)

            I do not accept censorship. I accept *moderation* from the Reg because it's their site, their rules. The comparison between private entities and governments fails because *a government does not own its country*. If you refuse to understand this basic point then I see no point continuing the conversation.

            Having said that, would you be happy if I came into your house and kept shouting in your face "Daggersedge believes in censorship! Nya nya nya!"? Or would you prefer to "censor" me? Your continued refrain is starting to sound like Dennis in Monty Python's Holy Grail: "Help, help! I'm being oppressed!"

            1. Thomas 4

              A point almost everyone has overlooked

              Simply opening Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, whatever does not automatically take you to hotlesbiantwins.cum. You actually have to make a conscious effort to type with your own fingers the subject you want into the search engine. It is *your* decision to search for the stuff. No-one and I do mean NO-ONE is forcing you to look at porn. They are, however, forcing you to avoid porn.

      2. Graham Marsden

        Oh deary me...

        ... Daggersedge says he's right, so that's the end of the argument...!

        The point that you are missing is that it is not "what is so sacred about porn" but "why should porn be treated differently from anything else" just because you (or they) don't like it (NB I'm talking about porn featuring consenting adults before you start trying to drag in red herrings about kiddie porn)

        And using phrases like "any colour as long as it's black" have a certain irony when you're talking about South Africa!! (SA refused to sign up for the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights back in 1948 because it required all people to be considered equal...)

        PS Moderation is *not* censorship, these forums have a set of rules which people agree to abide by to post here. If you don't like those rules you are *FREE* to go and set up your own forums with your own set of rules.

        Censorship is when *all* forums are forced to abide by a government imposed set of rules where you are not free to set up your own ones that have a different set of rules.

      3. Steve Roper


        The problem with your sovereignty argument is that it doesn't take into account what the people really want, only what the control freaks in government want. When every party is run by control freaks, who do you vote for?

        Case in point: I live in Australia. You and everyone else on this forum knows exactly what's happening over here in regards to net censorship. About 80-90% of people in this country are opposed to it, and there have been numerous protests and campaigns against it. But the government doesn't listen. And BOTH major parties are stacked with right-wing Christian nutjobs who support the filter, and there are no alternatives - either Labor or Liberal will be in power after the next election, and either one will pass the censorship bill into law.

        Much of the help and assistance we've had in organising opposition to the filter here has come from friends overseas who support us in our cause. They didn't turn around and say "well Australia is a sovereign nation, so what has that to do with us?" No, they mucked in and gave us their support. Just as we'll support them if their governments start doing stupid shit like this.

        Also, the issue is not porn per se. It's about governments taking away people's right to communicate as they wish. Porn is just the excuse to get the censorship infrastructure into place. Once that's achieved, the filtering won't stop at porn. It will encompass political debate and other issues the government is opposed to. That path leads only to dictatorship and tyranny.

        There is another reason why you should be concerned about what happens in other countries as well. Maybe your government won't follow the extremisim of the Middle East, but they WILL follow the example of supposedly "moderate" countries like Australia and South Africa if this goes through. Censorship will spread like a disease. So while you're sitting on your moral high horse pronouncing the rest of us to be against freedom, just remember that your ignorance and arrogance will one day cost you your own. "Evil prevails when good men do nothing". Are you a good man? Or just a do-gooder? Seems to me that you're more of the latter.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Best of luck, Mr Plank!

    Where there's a will, there's a way! CP is illegal, doesn't stop the dirtbags from getting it and leaving it on their phones in public places.

    So Mr Plank, what constitutes porn then, eh? We'd best define what is and what is not, classed as porn eh? "Images created or obtained for sexual arousal."? Would that fit?

    Right, well you'd best be ready to lose shit-loads from your economy 'cos a bloody great percentage of the ads you see are designed to arouse us in subtle ways to get us to boy stuff! Sleek new cars, deodorant ( although the Lynx effect doesn't work me! ), food, coffee, etc.

    How about banning the women's gymnastic events too. Fair few blokes sending the Missus down the shops on a Saturday afternoon, so they can have a bit of quiet time with Anna Triple-Pullover and her prowess on the bars!

  34. Asgard
    Big Brother

    This battle for control is a horrific nightmare in the making...

    Oh great more moralist arrogant control freaks in political power seeking to impose their will for an Orwellian world on everyone else.

    @”impossibility of scanning such a gigantic flow of data”

    Matching URL's with a banned hit list of URL's is unfortunately entirely possible. Its low tech, but it works enough to educate a population into becoming fearful. Fear is the ultimate means of control. People's own fear will control them. (Fear can be used to control as Orwell showed). For example hit the wrong URL, you are fined. Hit it a few times then you get punished even more seriously. But dare to keep hitting opponent political URL's and you end up repeatedly getting arrested and even detained (strangely whenever there are political protest meetings about to happen) or worse still, you end up vanishing into a jail for years or even worse in some countries you will end up in a shallow grave.

    But the technical side is ultimately less important than the endless will of the arrogant moralist control freaks who are determined to find a way to control people ever more. Because they will find a way to control whatever that technology is and their endless desire for control will make things ever worse for everyone they control. They will find a way to increase their control and they will spend billions of other peoples money just so they can gain ever more power for themselves. (Its what they have always done throughout history, its just now they have ever better technology to abuse. The control freaks will not be able to resist abusing technology to give ever more control, and they can see its going to be way beyond their predecessors wildest dreams).

    Ironically the more the control freaks seek to impose their will by spying on and so controlling and micro managing peoples lives, the more the control freaks create public anger against their control. But its more than this because they also therefore educate the public about the control freaks core desire for control over others. The control freaks rampant need for control is ultimately them plotting their own demise from power. In short the more the control freaks seek control, the more they move the public towards a revolution against their control.

    The Internet has already transformed many industries and the way the control freaks are going, its going to transform politics as well. I guess its about time the world changed, this minority of control freaks in every generation have subjugated the population for long enough. They even take their countries into wars just so they can gain more power over more people. Its time the world pushed the control freaks out of power and to one side and ironically its the control freaks own actions which is breeding the publics increasing anger and hatred against them.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    If you believe sovereignty really has any significance when it comes to internet based media and information, you are still living in the dark ages. Countries can only *try* to place borders around parts of the internet, but they will never be 100% successful. (Even with a 100% successful border, it will simply mean people will create underground private internets using VPN or whatever.) People who want to get to smut in South Africa will find a way. In the end is it worth the financial cost?

  36. Andy ORourke

    This is where......

    the TLD of xxx would come in useful, I mean sure, there are always going to be people who won't play by the rules but if legislation made it against the law to publish pornographic images on any "normal" domains (and with meaningful punishments for those who broke the law) then those countries who did wish to ban pornography would have a much easier time of it.

    Now don't get me wrong, I dont have a problem with Pron, I dont have a problem with a country banning Pron or whatever is offensive to its populace. This minister was DULY ELECTED so I am guessing that there was some kind of manifesto that suggested that this might be a policy of the government?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> This minister was DULY ELECTED

      Um, no. That's not how it works here. We vote for PARTIES. They staff themselves as they see fit. The current government (who refers to themselves as "the ruling party", yuck! ) is fond of shoving unpopular legislation on the people.

      If they want this the law will be tabled and passed quietly. The state owned broadcasters will show a few "man on the street" style interviews, edited to look like there are a few concerns but the majority support it, and then the debate will be over.

      That's what they did quite recently with RICA (mandatory cell phone registration).

      Believe me, there has been zero discussion of this in the public forum. This is the first I've heard of it, and I live here.

  37. JaitcH

    Another dumb government

    This is surprising given the reputation of the SA government leadership and their reputation.

    Smart InterNet users know what and how to do circumvent filters, obviously the SA government doesn't.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does SA have internet now?

    About 4 years ago, i set up a web based company in SA as an extension of it in the UK.

    We left after about 6 months for the following reasons;-

    1) internet in SA is terrible, mostly dial-up and very patchy.

    2) our SA employees could not be trusted not to steal the stock we shipped over (and badly as they didn't even try to cover their tracks - and it was not confined to one racial group)

    3) the hoops we had to jump through for anything legal / official were worse than the UK and not reliable - to the point of preventing companies from doing anything or making any profits.

    SO, gave up on South Africa with a little more understanding why so many come over here.

    I wont be rushing back so they can keep their walled garden, slow internet.. now with added 'no-pr0n'

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Irresponsible Reporting

    This document is not a real "bill". It was developed by an independent

    organisation (with a board including three pastors) as a proposal for

    a bill they would like to see tabled. A real bill is something that is

    actually tabled in parliament, usually by the relevant Department.

  40. TeeCee Gold badge

    Who the what?

    ".....the Justice Alliance of South Africa...."

    Is it just me, or did everyone else get spandex, capes and masks with that?

  41. Anonymous Coward


    So what if I transfer porn from my phone or laptop, lets say I have recently visited I dont know Germany, and then decide to transfer that porn to my friends phone or laptop over bluetooth or wifi overmy own private network... is the ISP still guilty of allowing porn to be distrubuted?

  42. CrysXP

    This Gigaba dude

    probably thinks the internet is a little black box with a blinking red light and a 'disable porn' switch.

    I think a bill to prevent stupid people from becoming politicians would probably solve more problems.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    backward country - and this will backfire

    Having previously lived in South Africa, I can't see this *ever* being enforced.

    The sad fact is, the government is incapable of even enforcing traffic laws - drunk driving, speeding & unroadworthy cars are the order of the day. The chances of being pulled by a cop are 100 to 1 and if you do, you can usually bribe them.

    The South African government attempts to appear 'civilised' and 'first world' - they take on ideas from first world countries, whilst completely neglecting the needs of the population - education, housing, welfare, hospitals - the list goes on.

    This is a country with over 40% illiteracy amongst the adult population. Unemployment is about the same rate. It has the highest HIV rate in the world. It has one of the worlds highest crime rates.

    What we're seeing here is a return to the insanity of the previous Apartheid regime - plain and simple. There's no democracy, no rainbow nation, it's a one-party system where the ruling elite do as they please.

    In short, welcome to Africa.

    This new bill won't be worth the paper it's written on, simply because it will never be enforced.

    South Africa is, to all intents and purposes, lawless - it's the wild west.

    Having said all that, it's a bloody fantastic country that's sadly being run by a bunch of clowns (who took over from the last bunch of clowns) - banana republic.

  44. The old man from scene 24

    Malusi Gigaba?

    Or "make less the gigabytes"?

    Mines the one with the pornography detecting packet sniffer in the pocket.

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Notable - Not a bill

    Despite the presence of the word "bill" in its name, the "Bill" in question is not a bill - it is a private DRAFT bill prepared by a religious organisation with no broad-based support, and no public consultation has taken place prior to the draft. There is no indication as yet that it will be tabled before parliament, and should that happen, it would go through the committee stage first, and there would be public consultation.

    Of course, stupid things have happened before, that have indeed gone through this process, such as Acts that enable intercepting all emails, and the requirement to register (and provide proof of) residential details when you hire a mobile phone for the World Cup, as a tourist.

    A local SA blogger has described the JASA board as comprising "an attorney, three Pastors of different churches, a financier and John Smyth QC, the Honorary Director".

    According to the Cape Town telephone directory, the self-styled "Justice Alliance of South Africa" shares the same residential address as Mr Smyth.

    Mr Smyth claims to have been invited to Australia in 1984 to "to assist Parliament with drafting their legislation to restrict video pornography and gratuitous violence."

    One hopes that the SA government does not see this as a means to further extend that state's already massive ability to spy on its citizens.

  47. HooHah!

    This will make teaching South African history interesting

  48. Anonymous Coward

    A message from LovGov

    Children of the singularity take note.

    The Internet Mental Hygenie act of 2023 -(statute)

    has replaces the following acts;

    Refused classification 2009

    Indecent performace and deptions 2015

    Unpure thoughts act 2019

    *Unpure thoughts act 2019 (amended -Unpure Abstract thoughts 2021)

    Important changes

    *Depictions, discussions and Utterances of material in said acts

    is restricted to lawful liscense holding practioners.

    Thank you.

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