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Internet Child Porn Loophole To Be Closed

The government is cracking down on the import of objectionable material such as child pornography over the internet.

The Customs and Excise Amendment bill introduced today puts objectionable material imported by electronic transmission, such as over the internet, on the same footing as objectionable material imported in hard copy.

Acting Customs Minister Jim Anderton says anyone who imports objectionable material, such as child pornography, will be subject to the full force of the law regardless of the method of importation they use.

“Under the current law, Customs officers investigating imports of objectionable books can’t do anything about similar material in their computer which has been imported electronically.

“The Government is therefore amending the legislation to extend Customs’ existing powers to cover material that currently slips through the net.

“This will assist in work here in New Zealand and overseas to eliminate the trade in child pornography. Customs already co-operates closely with the Department of Internal Affairs and the Police in this type of investigation.

“The United States Customs Service is a world leader in combating the proliferating use of the internet to traffic child pornography. It has expressed a wish to work with the New Zealand Customs Service in identifying New Zealanders exchanging child pornography with offenders in the United States.

The legislation will be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee following its first reading in Parliament.

Ends

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