New South African Law Posed to Block All Access to Adult Content

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated May 14, 2024

A new tentative law proposal that has been published by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) proposes the banning of porn websites and all types of adult content material for the netizens of the country. According to the 400-page long document that was submitted for discussion, children have a way too easy access to this type of pornographic content, which is affecting the way that they think about sexual abuse, eventually leading to a rise in the number of sexual offenses in the country. The draft law proposes the criminalization of this type of exposure, as well as the advertisement and enticement of minors to click on this type of portals.

To achieve this, the Commission proposes to implement special blocks on all internet-capable devices, both new and second hand. These blocks will be active by default, and only South Africans aged 18 and older will be able to bypass them by proving that they are adults. This could be achieved through a variety of ways, but the commission doesn’t clarify the means of age confirmation. The paper goes on to engulf both the electronic device manufacturers and the communication service providers (ISPs) in the placing of the blockage so there may be a dual-layered block.

Those who will intentionally unlock the devices in order to allow porn access to a minor will face criminal offense charges. The law proposal, however, takes a step further by demanding the adult owners of the electronic devices to monitor their state and be aware of when the default blocks have been removed and by whom. The general context is quite strict, and this shows that SALRC are really serious about this, and their goal is to pass the law not just discuss the problem.

Right now, the proposal is just a proposal so the final draft that will reach the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services for a final consideration may be different. However, the main context of the law is expected to remain the same, as the commission seems to be determined to impose device and internet adult content blocks.

South Africa is not the first country to have banned adult content by law, as others don’t even permit access to adults. Internet pornography is entirely restricted in Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Gaza, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. In addition to these, there are also countries that implement ISP restrictions on adult websites, like Venezuela, the UK, Uganda, Singapore, Russia, the Philippines, India, and Australia.

Do you live in a porn-free country? What is your opinion on this matter? Let us know in the comments section below, and also on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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