Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Criminal confrontation with the phenomenon of publishing secret official documents of the state through social networking sites in Jordanian law

Author(s): Ali Awad Al-Jabra

The Jordanian constitution guarantees freedom of opinion, expression, and publication in Article 15, whereby every Jordanian is granted the freedom to express his opinion verbally, in writing, in photography, and in all other means of expression, provided that it does not exceed the limits of the law. Thus, the state has decided a constitutional obligation to guarantee freedom of expression and opinion for Jordanians. Thus, its duty goes beyond ensuring this right by facilitating and enabling it for citizens. This freedom is absolute and there is no restriction on it, neither in form, nor time, nor means, nor place. But the constitution stipulated that it should not go beyond the limits of the law. However, a phenomenon has emerged recently, which is the publication of secret official documents of some Jordanian ministries and state institutions through social networking sites through government sector employees to enable the community to view, comment on and share them based on multiple motives. Perhaps the most important of them is that such practices may constitute a way to monitor the general performance of those in charge of managing the public facility, in addition to taking them as an effective means to monitor the general performance of the various state institutions and the decisions taken, which the law guarantees the right to obtain under laws, the most important of which is the Right to Information Act of 2007. On the other hand, We find the law criminalizing such practices by virtue of the fact that some documents are mostly confidential documents that are protected under the provisions of various laws, the most important of which is the Law on the Protection of State Secrets and Documents for the year 1971, and that their publication is in violation of the provisions of the law that would disturb public order. This study sheds light on the nature of the secret official document of the state and the criminal confrontation mechanism that the Jordanian legislator provides to it if it is published through social networking sites?

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