Jordan’s Internet News Sites Getting Their Very Own Law?

Ammon has been reporting about a book written by an Iraqi author, called “The Rain of God”, which seems to “insult God” and has slipped Jordanian censors and made its way onto the market. It’s kind of ironic because I’ve never seen Ammon so much in favor of censorship! What makes this more interesting, is that in the same article that describes the recent banning of the book, Ammon goes on to describe a secret and/or official source who claims that legislation is being drawn up to deal with electronic news sites, such as Ammon. According to the website, it may be developed as a separate law or even finds its way into the latest Press and Publications law. Ammon has not been able to confirm or deny this.

This is deja vu dating back to several months ago, in September, when an intention to monitor websites was declared and then later rejected by the King. Very recently however, there has been an increase in chatter about this subject in political spheres and for those paying attention, this past year, there have been incidents of journalists and politicians who have run into trouble with the law for posting online.

I think despite guarantees from the powers-that-be, we all know or are at least aware of the fact that websites and blogs are monitored. There is a relatively high degree of freedom of speech on the Internet (comparatively), but the country remains in limbo when it comes to the next step. The expectation is that sooner or later there will be a crackdown and people will go to jail. In what form or manner that initiative will take place in remains unknown. Perhaps it will be legislation, perhaps it will be security forces. The shape and form however is

At the end of the day, when it comes to freedom of speech, be it digital or analog, one lesson remains true: there are no guarantees.


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