Jordan Orders 300+ Websites Blocked

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Jordanian citizens will be unable to access more than 300 Internet sites that have not registered with the government, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported on its website.

A weekend memo from the Jordanian government's Department of Press and Publications ordered the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to block all unlicensed websites.

Under Article 49 of Jordan's Press and Publications Law, both local and international websites are required to register with the government and abide by the same regulations as print media.

Daoud Kuttab, a journalist whose website AmmanNet is required to register, said "the idea of licensing news websites is contrary to the Jordanian constitution, international commitments and public statements made by the King and government."

"It's also a punishment to the Jordanian public," he continued, "because they are blocking these sites only in Jordan while the rest of the world can see the contents of these websites."

Meanwhile, the United States is sending a Patriot anti-missile battery and an unknown number of F-16 fighter jets to Jordan for a military exercise dubbed "Exercise Eager Lion," some or all of which may remain in Jordan following the drill, AFP reported.

"Given our strong alliance with Jordan and in light of circumstances in the region and escalating violence along Jordan's borders, if requested some may remain beyond the conclusion of the exercise to assist the Jordanian armed forces," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, adding that "no decision has been made yet on that."

U.S. troops deployed to Jordan in 2012 to build a headquarters there and bolster the Hashemite Kingdom's military capabilities in the event the border with Syria heats up.

 

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