Jordanian Online News Portals and Websites to Blackout in Protest of New Press Law | Jordan News | Ammon News

Jordanian Online News Portals and Websites to Blackout in Protest of New Press Law

[8/29/2012 12:00:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A group of Jordanian Internet citizens, known as 7oryanet, have initiated a campaign calling on Jordan's leading online news portals and websites to engage in a one-day blackout tomorrow Wednesday August 29th, in protest against the proposed amendments to the Press and Publications Law for the year 2012.

Online portals and websites in opposition to the measures currently being discussed in Jordan's Lower House of Parliament will be going dark for the day by replacing their home pages with black screens. 7oryanet is working alongside hundreds of portals, newspapers, blogs and organizations to object to the new law, which many fear will grant authorities the power to limit freedom of speech and open access to the Internet.

The amendments include new legislation concerning registration and licensing that not only targets online news media but also user generated content portals such as social networks, media sharing services, review sites, and blogs. The new amendments include significant fines and penalties levied against online media owners who are deemed to have breached the laws.

According to 7oryanet, the amendments to the Press and Publications Law that are currently being discussed increase the possibility of censorship and the power to control the Internet, endangering freedom of speech and journalism in general.
7oryanet, which translates to "You are free, Internet" and was launched specifically to protest against any government attempts to censor the Internet, have also expressed concern that the amendments to the law provide authorities with the opportunity to unilaterally judge content material on the basis of broad and unclearly defined criteria. Combined with potential fines and undefined penalties, 7oryanet believe this will result in media self-censorship and the stifling of public debate and discussion on issues that are of great importance to the Jordanian public.

Unlike many countries in the Middle East where stringent censorship of the Internet is already in place, Jordan has benefited greatly from an open Internet policy which, among other things, has resulted in the rapid growth of the ICT community in the Kingdom, contributing significantly to the economy both in terms of job creation, tax revenues and investments.

7oryanet believe the Internet has been one of the most powerful tools in Jordan for empowering people, fostering entrepreneurship in innovation, creativity, and building economic opportunity. In order to ensure the Kingdom continues to benefit from an open, free and accessible Internet, the group is encouraging all Jordanians to participate in the blackout campaign and voice their rejection to the proposed amendments to the Press and Publication's Law.

For more information about the campaign and 7oryanet visit

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