I think this is really one of the cultural differences I trouble the most with. When we rented our apartment, the owner showed us around and went in to a small room behind the kitchen and went "and this is for the maid". That room is 2x2m - yes there is also a shower and a toilet and a lock on the door. I just smiled nicely. I know for some it's normal, but not for me. You can read the full story form the Jordan Times here.
The second and more controversial subject in the papers is the Information Systems Crime Law 2010 which has been recently introduced and has come under great fire. Several articles can be found, including: cyber crimes law helps electronic media, where Marwan Juma, the Minister of Information and Communications Technology explains that the law is there to protect everyone and speaks primarily about cyber crimes such hacking and data interception. He also says that "The law penalises with a fine anyone who disseminates data or information, via the Internet or any information system, that involves defamation, contempt or slander of any person". Finally he talks about the article 13 (the most controversial) which gives the right to the police to raid "any place suspected of having been used to commit cyber crimes" with permission from the public prosecutor.
There is then another article in the Jordan Times: 'No linkage between cyber crimes law and blocking access to certain sites', and this one explains that the government has started banning access to certain sites because: "one hour wasted per day by each of the 100,000 public sector employees who have Internet access costs the government around JD70 million a year". OK this one I follow! In the private sector all kind of social networks (facebook, myspace...) are often restricted because yes it does cost a lot of money having employees updating their status, ranting about their job, the weather... but news websites?
Then to the more controversial article on AmmonNews.net: Is Jordan the latest enemy of press freedom online? This article argues that the law is very vague - and it would allow the government to interpret the way they want - that it is an attempt to silence the critics and the local news sites. It also underlines the fact that the law is a temporary one and thus many say unconstitutional and " accuse the government of acting as if the state of emergency lifted 20 years ago is still in force. The Jordan Professional Associations Complex said the government "has once again violated the constitution by issuing more temporary laws that are not of an urgent nature, as stipulated in Article 94a of the Jordanian constitution." This articles also says that the police can do the raid mentioned above, without prior authorisation from the public prosecutor.
So the question is: what is defamation, contempt or slander?
|Drawing from the International Herald Tribune|