On March 17, 2020, in a rush to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Jordan’s government activated the 1992 Defence Law. Almost immediately, land borders, the international airport, and schools were closed, nearly all economic activity halted, and the government imposed a three-day total lockdown, followed by a strict daily curfew that only started to relax on June 6, but remains in place for late evenings at the time of writing. Up until late April, people could not use cars—the main mode of transportation in Jordan—without a special permit and once the strict lockdown was lifted, people were only allowed to walk to local supermarkets for provisions.
Since announcing the lockdowns and subsequent curfews, Prime Minister Razzaz’s government has relied much more heavily on digital platforms like the Web and mobile applications to ease the burdens imposed by coronavirus containment efforts and to assist the country with the gradual reopening of different sectors. In readiness for the surge of Internet usage, the Telecommunications’ Regulatory Commission (TRC) expanded network providers’ capacities in March.1 Arguably, the release of multiple digital platforms2 represents what we might call the digitisation of the social compact between citizens and the government.
30 November 2022