Jordan Giving Citizens Porn Blocking Software

Bob Johnson

AMMAN, Jordan — Claiming it’s responding to an outcry from its citizens to stamp out porn, the Jordanian government’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology is providing software that enables users to block adult content.

The move comes after officials met with activists who started an ant-porn movement that included public protests and an online Facebook campaign, despite a backlash from Internet freedom advocates.

According to the Ministry, Jordanians can access the download at Moict.gov.jo.

“We posted the anti-porn software on the ministry's website in response to repeated calls to block such sites," a source told The Jordan Times.

"We understand families' concerns when they call for blocking these sites and the software can help address this problem," the source said.

Earlier this month, a small, but vocal group of “dozens” of porn protesters gathered in a public sit-in sparked by the Facebook campaign that has reportedly now grown to 34,000 backers.

The government has also directed ISPs to block porn sites and is working with an international company to ban online adult content that’s reportedly being accessed by 53 percent of Jordanian web users.

"This is a good step. I will download the software on the computers at home as a precaution because my children use the Internet every day," Sabri Qaddoura told The Jordan Times.

He added, "Having this software installed on computers at home will help because sometimes when I use the Internet looking for some information, some porn links show up, and if the software can help in blocking these sites I will be more comfortable.”

Some citizens believe that having the software choice is a better move than a nation-wide ban on porn.

"This is fair. It is better than blocking all porn sites in Jordan, as that may lead to blocking other sites in the future," said Nasser, a salesman. "Those who want to protect their children and families can download the software and keep an eye on their kids. Maybe there are some people who do not want such sites blocked and this is fair for both sides," he added.

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