The CPJ asked his Majesty King Abdullah to toss out the new cyber crime law because they’re “deeply concerned” that the law “contains several repressive aspects that can be used to harass online media”. Now, I for one disagree with the CPJ on more than one aspect. You can read the full letter here. It just seems like a rash statement that was based on a law that was lost in translation, not the current CCL that until now hasn’t been formally translated into English.
They cite article 8, stating that defamation, content and slander aren’t well defined, while they clearly are within Jordanian law. They also cite article 12, which clearly concerns hackers, rather than online journalists. Article 13, quite contrary to what they claim, does not give law officers the right “to search the offices of websites and access their computers without prior approval from public prosecutors.”
They do have a fair point with the fact that the law is not urgent enough to be considered a provisional law, but the elections are soon, and the law will be discussed in parliament before you know it, but does that call for such a drastic measure, and a great interference with the law making process, such as being scrapped by the King? I believe it’s an insult to democracy to use such measures when they’re not needed. All I can say is, CPJ should have researched this more, and perhaps contacted the MoICT before going for such a dramatic gesture.