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Internet safety campaign launched to curb cyber crimes

By Rana Husseini - Oct 23,2017 - Last updated at Oct 23,2017

AMMAN — Reaching an “Internet free of crime” is the theme of an eight-month campaign targeting the youth to enhance their awareness of cyber crimes and ways to avoid being abused, the campaign organisers said on Monday.

“Most of the Internet crimes occur because of ignorance of the users, mostly the youth, and the idea is to raise awareness on early preventive measures to stop the abuse that might occur online,” said Hadeel Abdel Aziz, executive director of the Justice Centre for Legal Aid (JCLA).

The official title and hashtag of the campaign, which is supported by King Abudullah II Fund for Development, is “#Crime_Free_Web Awareness Campaign”.

Abdel Aziz told The Jordan Times that JCLA initiated the campaign after they “noticed that there was an increase in reported cyber crimes” and that it was causing many social problems involving a large number of people “either becoming victims or possible suspects”.

That is why “we want to try to intervene, hopefully ahead of time, and raise awareness that a wrong or misinformed use of the Internet might get people in trouble,” she added.

According to a survey released by Ogilvy Media Influence in June, around 93 per cent of Internet users in Jordan use social networks, with Facebook named as their favourite website. 

The figures, released by IpsosJo in July 2016, indicated that 88.7 per cent of female Internet users in Jordan use social networks, compared to 95.9 per cent of male Internet users in the Kingdom.

Some of the problems that the centre started witnessing was of “women getting in trouble for sending or sharing photos via social media”, according to Abdel Aziz.

“Some cases involve women who are abused, mostly by men, after sharing photos or personal information. Our hope is to really raise awareness and inform potential victims how this action could ruin their lives,” she explained.

The women who become victims were “sometimes blackmailed; either to keep quiet about the relation or to be forced into advanced forms of relations, including sexual relations to avoid a scandal”, Abdel Aziz explained.

Others, she added, reported facing criminal charges of “online defamation, slander and libel, which they did not know was punishable by a penalty not less than three months and could go up to three years in prison, and a maximum JD 2,000 fine.

In one case, she said, a young man was sentenced to four years in prison “for sharing nude photos of a woman he had an online relation with after the court ruled it a sexual offence”.

Other people have found themselves “being tried in front of the State Security Court for a single like or share”, she added.

The JCLA campaign will target Jordanian youth between the age of 15-25 and their parents, according to Abdel Aziz. 

The campaign will include videos, interactive theatre as well as awareness raising sessions in community-based organisations, universities and schools which will seek to educate the community on applicable laws, and to promote safe Internet surfing, she added.

The campaign, which will be implemented in collaboration with the Public Security Directorate — Electronic Crimes Unit will also educate “possible victims on means of protection and seeking justice if at risk”, the executive director stressed. 

 

The JCLA is a non-government, non-profit organisation that operates on the belief that everyone must have the right to access justice in Jordan, according to its website.   

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