Jordan Finishes Crackdown on Websites

The Jordanian government announced Tuesday that it completed the blocking 254 websites that had not obtained the required permits based on a somewhat controversial 2012 law.

The law states that the editors of news sites must be members of the Jordanian press, giving the government the right to censor the content of the sites and prosecute journalists for comments posted online.

For more on the media in Jordan, see:

“Sixteen local online news sites were blocked in the last two days after scrutiny of their situation,” bringing the total number to 254 sites blocked recently, stated Fayez Shawabkeh who heads the Department of Press and Publication (PPD). Meanwhile, “111 sites were licensed,” he added.

The government announced its intention to block sites that did not get their licenses last month, in accordance with the 2012 media law.

Shawabkeh assured that the move to block the sites was to “organize” Jordan’s media and not to “restrict freedom”. He called on the sites concerned to regularize their situation, after which they will once again become available.

Measures blocking news sites revived criticism by human rights activists and journalists, but also from the Muslim Brotherhood – the main opposition group in Jordan.

The Brotherhood denounced the move as the Jordanian government’s attempt to censor the populace.

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