Hundreds Of Websites Go Dark In Jordan
The following excerpt is from Tech Crunch.
Jordan, one of the more moderate of Middle Eastern countries and seen by some as the would-be “Silicon Valley of the Middle East”, is today exercising its freedom of expression in a SOPA-inspired media blackout to protest a piece of legislation that could threaten that freedom in the future. Apparently hundreds of sites have gone dark in support of #BlackoutJo — a protest against a draft bill to amend the Press and Publications Law. If approved, critics believe it could restrict Internet freedom in the country by blocking international sites, and allowing the government to moderate and potentially restrict online commenting and social media in the country.
The protest was brought to our attention by Jordan-based TC reader Rami Arafat. Several high-profile figures, including Queen Noor Al Hussein, have also gotten behind the effort.
The hope behind the blackout is that if there is enough coverage of it by mainstream media outside of Jordan, the government will withdraw the draft bill. Jordan is a close ally of countries like the UK and U.S.; the idea here is that as a result its government would be responsive if the right authorities weighed in.
The draft bill was introduced a while back but the wheels were set in motion for approval last week, when the country’s government approved it. Parliament has now had one debate on the bill and is planning for another on the 30th of this month.
To read and learn more about the areas covered in the draft bill, click here.