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ANHRI denounces new Internet café measures

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 7 June 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reported that the Jordanian Ministry of the Interior has issued new instructions tightening control over Internet cafés.

The ministry has instructed Internet café owners to use programs that prevent access to sites that contain pornographic material, insults to religious beliefs, or promote the use of drugs or tobacco, gambling sites and sites that contain descriptions of the use of any material for military purposes.

As well, the instructions oblige Internet café owners to install surveillance cameras that cover the entrances to cafés. The cameras should be equipped with a logging system that retains client data for no less than 3 months.

Moreover, the ministry ordered café owners to use a device that records website information and browsing data for a period of no less than 6 months. This is in addition to the existence of an electronic record that contains café visitors' information including their name, national ID number and the PC that the visitor used.

ANHRI condemns the issuing of such arbitrary resolutions. ANHRI expressed its strong opposition to these flagrant violations of the right to privacy, and the restriction of the freedom of Internet cafés and the right to circulate information. Jordan is one of the countries where Internet cafés are wide-spread, such that the street of Shafiq Rashidat - University Avenue is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records, as it contains more than 130 Internet cafés.

ANHRI expressed deep concern regarding the continuous strict control on Internet cafés, as the Jordanian Ministry of Interior insists on imposing extensive restrictions on café visitors aiming to deprive them of their simple rights to privacy and security.

ANHRI demands that the Jordanian government repeal these arbitrary orders which violate free access to the Internet and the use of Internet cafés.

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    (HRinfo/IFEX) - HRinfo has denounced decisions announced by the Jordanian ministry of the interior increasing restrictions on internet cafés in Jordan, on the pretext of maintaining security, through installing cameras to monitor users of these cafés. HRinfo also emphasized that these procedures are a real retreat from freedom to use the Internet and the right to exchange information.

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