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II. Surveillance policy

The Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) prohibits authentication institutions from disclosing the secrets of any client1 and provides additional sanctions for any person who commits a crime by electronic means.2 Furthermore, the act gives the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission the "right to monitor the source of any radio waves to ascertain the licensing of that source, without this being considered as breach of the confidentiality of communications or violation of the provisions of the Laws in force."3

Amendments to the Telecommunications Act provide that "telephone calls and private telecommunications shall be considered confidential matters that shall not be violated"4 and that any person who "withholds a message . . . copies or reveals a message or tampers with the data related to any subscriber, including unpublished telephone numbers and sent or received messages,"5 or who discloses the content of any private communication "which came to his knowledge by virtue of his post or who records the same without any legal basis, shall be punished" by imprisonment, a fine or both.6 Similarly, "any person who intercepts, obstructs, alters or strikes off the contents of a message carried through the telecommunications networks or encourages others to do so, shall be punished" by imprisonment, a fine or both.7

In 2004, Jordan along with Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco signed the Agadir Process, a European Union-led effort to integrate the Mediterranean region into global trade and to create stable business environments.8 These events indicate a shift in Jordan's stance on data protection as industry speculation in the country points to further legal consultation concerning procedures and regulation of conducting trade and commerce with the countries of the European Union.9 This has led to the belief that the European Union's data protection regime is potentially compatible with some Middle Eastern countries Islamic beliefs (which many of their laws resonate from) and values when compared to the United States system of self-regulation.10