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Activists launch ‘constitution for Internet rights’

By JT - Aug 27,2015 - Last updated at Aug 27,2015

AMMAN — Local Internet activists recently launched a “national charter for Internet freedoms” to safeguard the rights of Jordanians online, the Jordan Open Source Association said in a statement released this week. 

The charter was launched during “OpenJordan”, organised by the Jordan Open Source Association to promote openness in Jordan.

“The Jordan Charter of Digital Rights could be considered a constitution or a bill of rights for the Internet, a set of principles that aim to protect freedoms and rights of Jordanians online,” the statement quoted Issa Mahasneh, president of the Jordan Open Source Association, as saying.

“We focused on privacy, surveillance and censorship, they were the main concerns of Jordanian Internet users as resulted from several focus groups we organised in Amman, Irbid and Aqaba,” said Mahasneh, adding that a more affordable and better quality Internet in Jordan was a broad demand as well.

Participants from offline meetings and workshops, including experts from the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, the Telecommunication Regulatory Committee and the National Centre for Human Rights contributed to shaping the charter’s content, according to the statement.

Based on these outputs, a working group consisting of lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and technical experts helped in authoring the online draft of the charter, published on digitalrightsjo.org, where everyone can suggest edits or changes.

The charter is available online in Arabic on digitalrightsjo.org/?page_id=9.

The launch of the charter was one of the activities of the OpenJordan summit, in which activists called for spectrum commons — the open and free use of radio frequencies for civic use — and publication of open government data to promote transparency and access to information, which leads to more efficient e-government services.

 

Speakers called for “additional de-regulation” to boost technological innovation in Jordan, including crypto-currencies, like Bitcoin, and the import and utilisation of drones for civic use.

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