Porn stats make mockery of AU censorship laws

Australia hosts more porn pages than any other country in the region despite strict laws designed to restrict adult content.A survey by Secure Computing found that sites in the .

Australia hosts more porn pages than any other country in the region despite strict laws designed to restrict adult content.

A survey by Secure Computing found that sites in the .com.au domain played host to 5.6 million separate pages of pornography. Only Germany, with over 10 million pages, and the UK, with 8.5 million, came higher in the list. Secure Computing derived the figures by identifying adult pages listed in its SmartFilter database. A surprise inclusion was the tiny Pacific island of Niue, which came fourth and hosted just under 3 million pages.

Australia's high ranking comes despite Net censorship laws formalised in 1999 and designed to restrict the proliferation of adult content. Under those laws, ISPs hosting "objectionable" content can receive takedown notices from the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

While sites in the .com.au space do not have to be physically hosted in Australia, such domain names can only be obtained by businesses registered in or active in Australia, and the site name must derive from the business name or a product sold by it. In practice, such rules are hard to police. For instance, the domain hotsex.com.au is registered to a company called Lion Global.

Sites on .com domains, which are believed to comprise the vast majority of porn sites, were excluded from the survey since their location is difficult to identify. It is generally believed that the US is the world's biggest producer of adult content.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All