This is an interesting piece of news today that is both strange and unverified so you’ll have to take it at the normal face value of news stories in the Kingdom. Jordan’s largest e-newspaper, AmmonNews, is claiming that it was essentially hacked by “unknown sources” last night after it published a statement of demands made by prominent Jordanians and addressed to HM King Abdullah. The statement is published on other news websites in full but it seems Ammon’s had theirs tampered with without their knowledge. Their editorial statement today rejected attempts by any party to hinder its right to free speech and reaffirms their commitment to our “democratic kingdom that has a high ceiling of freedoms [that] reaches the sky under the direction of HM King Abdullah.”
Ammon seem to be purposefully ambiguous, which makes understanding the attack on their site difficult to decipher. They seem to have removed the original article all together. In my opinion, it contains nothing new or radical, and definitely nothing that we haven’t heard before, especially in the past three years, so I don’t know why anyone would have a problem with it being articulated now, unless timing, with regards to events in Tunisia, Egypt and at home, has become a factor for political sensitivity. Now whether this was a genuine attack by authorities, by fervent technologically capable citizens, or simply a sensationalist attempt by Ammon itself, is unknown at the moment, but I do hope it not the former. For it was the authorities then they are making the same mistakes over and over again – failing to recognize how utterly stupid it is to try and make any attempts to censor anything online. If anything, they’ve just added fuel to the fire. That statement will likely be passed around like a virtual game of hot potato.
Welcome to new world order.
It seems another alleged attempt has been made on the site. A cryptic message left on a blank screen that has replaced the site’s homepage earlier this afternoon. About three minutes after I took the first screen shot, the second message was added. This may be an editorial decision to shut down the site due to some attack – or, this may be an attempt on Ammon’s part to sensationalize the event.
Trust me I would have received the ‘phone call’ if it was the authorities that did this.
They have no reason to though, as you mentioned due to the nature of this report.
I think Ammon want to create a reputation as an ‘oppressed’ news portal in a very ripe time…well, any reputation is a reputation at the end of the day, so I give that to them at least.
When it starts leaking..well..
The statement is well written in the sense that it only attacks his majesty. This statement does not contradict with the fact that I am actually a supporter of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan. However, I have developed the observation that the person of the king is more tolerant to ‘criticism’ (of some sort) than that of other officials, probably due to public relations purposes, or perhaps due to some sort of political belief in freedom of expression. Indeed, it is true that the 33rd signatory of the statement, Ahmad Oweidi Abbadi, (who in my opinion is the engine behind the whole thing) was allowed to freely operate his website, the Jordan National Movement (.net), harshly criticizing the king and the royal family. Only once he mentioned others, including ministers in the government, did he get into legal trouble.
I agree with the majority of the statements, especially parts on elections, status of the royal court, torture, etc. However, I will reiterate that I completely disagree with the complaints of such statement on privatization as well as selling of property, as well as fears of a “zionist threat”. I feel that dumbs down and destroys any legitimacy the statement had in the field of political development or civil empowerment by engaging in the political hocum and conspiracy theories.
I am not a fan of Ahmad Oweidi al Abbadi, at all. I hope that the king and the governments distill the feces of his rhetoric, and take to heart the legitimate criticisms that he offers.
@Eyas: I generally agree with your take.