Australia Bans X-Rated Mobile Content

SYDNEY, Australia — In keeping with the country's prohibitions of depictions of actual sex acts in all other media, the Australian Broadcast Authority has banned X-rated material on mobile devices.

Australia has two content classifications linked with adult: X18+, which is legal only in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory; and RC, the “refused classification,” which covers “detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use, or depictions of illegal sexual activity such as bestiality.” RC content is illegal everywhere in Australia.

The mobile content ban, then, extends an existing ban of RC content and refuses Sydney-area or Northern Territory consumers access on their phones to the same content they can obtain legally on their televisions.

"The content codes use the National Classification Code categories that apply to films, DVDs and computer games," the ABA stated. "This will help ensure consistent treatment of content across fixed and mobile entertainment platforms."

The ABA’s codes were developed in 2002 for the Internet, and have gradually been adapted to other forms of broadband or wireless communication, like cell phones. The current ban is, at least on paper, a temporary one. It will come under review in one year.