Jordanian websites go dark in protest of legislation


From techPresident:

Over two hundred Jordanian websites went dark on Wednesday [August 29], in a SOPA-like protest of draft legislation that would allow the government to block and censor Internet content. The action was coordinated by a grassroots organization of tech savvy Jordanians and the editors of various Jordanian websites, with blackout screens on dozens of widely read digital news sites and blogs. …

Jordan is perhaps unique in the Middle East, in that its government cares very much about world opinion. For the last decade, explained Ejeilat, Jordan has been working very hard to improve its image abroad as an IT innovation and textile hub. Short in natural resources and surrounded by unstable regimes, the country is stuck between “Iraq and a hard place,” as the king once joked to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Its image as a modern, open country that is friendly to foreign investment could take a serious hit if it were to start limiting freedom of expression online. That is why the online protest in English and Arabic carries real weight. Lina Ejeilat said that Wednesday’s protest blackout “restored my faith that people are still able to engage in grassroots protest. I still think the Internet is a fantastic tool.”