Jordan’s cyber law criticized

Jordan passed a provisional cyberspace law this month that Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said creates a “legislative arsenal that can be used to punish those whose posts upset the authorities.” Penalties range from fines to forced labor. In a letter Tuesday to Abdullah, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the law could be used to harass online media and undermined “Jordan’s image as a free and open society.”

Article 8 penalises “sending or posting data or information via the Internet or any information system that involves defamation or contempt or slander,” without defining what constitutes those crimes.

Article 12 penalises obtaining “data or information not available to the public, concerning national security or foreign relations of the kingdom, public safety or the national economy” from a website without a permit.

Article 13 allows for law enforcement officers to search the offices of websites and access their computers without prior approval from public prosecutors.

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