BBC News | 05/08/2010 | 14:24 GMT
The government said that action needed to be taken, pointing out that there were more than a quarter of a million attempts to access the blocked sites in the first day after the ban came into effect. “This measure must not be misinterpreted,” said the Jordanian Communications Minister, Ali Ayed. “The government is not targeting any particular website,” adding that even the governments own news agency, Petra, has been blocked. The Jordanian ministry said that employees were wasting, on average, two and a half working hours every day on the internet. “The public sector’s time must be spent in service of the public interest and public servants must focus their attention on the public’s needs, instead of wasting their time surfing the web or playing games,” said Mr Ayed.
Mr Juma agreed, telling BBC News that “when someone is at work, they should be focused on their job”. Jordan has ambitions to be the hi-tech capital of the Middle East. King Abdullah II established an ICT (information and communication technologies) curriculum into the education system not long after he came to the throne in 1999 and today almost 40% of Jordanian households have internet access. Mr Juma said that the country was continuing with its broadband roll out and that parts of the country – notably Amman – were having fibre laid.