Jordan\'s Internet regulations retracted
The Jordanian government announced on Sunday that it has retracted draft Internet regulations for licensing Internet cafes and maintained the original guidelines, reported the Jordan Times newspaper.
Minister of interior, Awad Khleifat, was quoted by the paper as calling on the country's governors to halt the regulations, which appeared in the official gazette in late December.
The December regulations, intended to facilitate the use of the superhighway, stirred up controversy in the information technology industry because they included few amendments to previous regulations on Internet cafes, said the paper.
However, they included a couple of stricter provisions which required Internet cafe owners to keep specific records of user names, the duration of the use and which PC was used. The guidelines then asked that each computer have a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address and a log file, which can track all applications and sites browsed on a specific site, said the paper.
Khleifat, said the paper, asked minister of telecommunications and post, Fawwaz Zu'bi, more than three weeks ago to coordinate with the concerned parties in the private and public sector to regulate the industry in a manner that will serve the citizens and the country's national interest.
132 Internet cafes and other computer service oriented offices began dotting the landscape of the country in the mid 1990s to cater to a growing demand from on-line users. More than 250,000 Jordanians use the Internet across the kingdom, while 44 percent of all those who surf the web in Internet cafes are aged between 18 and 22, according to AFP.
In 1999, Jordan launched a scheme to attract $150 million in foreign investment in the field of information technology by 2004 aimed at creating 30,000 jobs and exporting $550 million worth of software, said the agency. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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