Launch of Jordan Charter of Digital Rights

Internet Freedoms and Rights

Launch of Jordan Charter of Digital Rights

A first of its kind national charter for Internet freedoms and rights has been launched by local Internet activists during the “OpenJordan” summit last week, an event organized 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”, said Issa Mahasneh, president of the Jordan Open Source Association.

“We focused on privacy, surveillance and censorship, they were the main concerns of Jordanian Internet users as resulted from several focus groups we organized 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 in shaping the charter's content.

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 within a democratic and public consultation process.

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 result in more efficient e-government services.

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

OpenJordan, which official hashtag was trending locally on Twitter, was the first dedicated event in Jordan to promote “openness” for the good of the Jordanian society and highlighted local initiatives based on collaborative authoring, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.