Three ways ‘Open Jordan’ is trying to change the Internet as Amman knows it

Published August 15th, 2015 - 05:07 GMT
The hashtag #OpenJordan began trending in Amman on Saturday when activists came together to talk about Internet freedom. (AFP/Jay Directo)
The hashtag #OpenJordan began trending in Amman on Saturday when activists came together to talk about Internet freedom. (AFP/Jay Directo)

A group of Internet activists is trying to make Jordan more accessible, and more public — and they're gaining ground on social media.

The hashtag #OpenJordan began trending in Amman on Saturday when activists gathered to discuss the biggest issues with Internet freedom in the kingdom.

The event, put on by the Jordan Open Source Association, pinpoints some critical issues the organization would like to see changed. 

While the association also deals with drones and open borders for Bitcoin exchanges, let's focus mainly on Internet freedom. Here are three big changes the activists would like to see implemented:

A Jordan Charter of Digital Rights: The Jordanians are calling for the first "constitution" of the Internet that would provide more freedom and rights on the web. 

Open source and open data that go beyond open-source software. That would make code and data universally accessible, which can be beneficial to programmers and Internet activists (like data journalists) trying to provide public services or public information. 

An improved Arabic Wikipedia using collaborative authoring from Jordanians. This would contribute to the open data available to the international community and provide more access to public information. 

Jordan hasn't had the greatest track record when it comes to Internet freedom, having banned nearly 300 websites in May 2014, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. While the JOSA cites Jordan to be known as "the biggest producer of Arabic content online," there's a major difference between what the public produces and what the public can access. 

By Hayat Norimine


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