CYBERCRIME IN THE UAE: UNCOVERING THE HIDDEN ONLINE DANGERS IN THE UAE?
30 October 2023
The Internet has played a transformative role with which Cybercrime has escalated worldwide and in the UAE. The UAE Regulator has edified robust Cybercrime Regulations for enhanced Online Security
The digital age has heralded remarkable advancements in global connectivity and communication. However, it has also ushered in a new era of heightened cyber threats and criminal activities. In the UAE, cybercrime has witnessed a notable surge in recent years, prompting the enactment of stringent cybercrime regulations. Cybercrime penalties are actually one of the harshest in the UAE.
Dubai: Understanding the complexities of these laws has become vital, not only for safeguarding one's online reputation but also for avoiding potential legal repercussions. In this digital landscape, staying informed and compliant with cybercrime regulations is essential for individuals and businesses alike.
The UAE's national cybercrime legislation, which had remained largely unchanged since its last update in 2012, has undergone a significant transformation. This change is part of the country's broader legal reform initiative and has been realized through Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021, focused on combating rumors and cybercrime. In the UAE, cyber safety and digital security hold significant importance.
The country is safeguarding its people and enhancing trust in the digital realm. The implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021, which addresses rumors and cybercrimes, came into force on January 2, 2022.
The UAE's new Cybercrimes Law, enacted in 2021, stands as a formidable shield against a spectrum of cyber threats. This comprehensive legislation is designed to ensure a secure digital environment and encompasses stringent regulations governing various aspects of cyber activity. Let's delve into key provisions aimed at combatting cybercrime:
•Cryptocurrency Regulation: Article 48 of the law places stringent restrictions on the advertisement, promotion, or dealings involving virtual or crypto-currencies not officially recognized in the UAE or without proper licensing. Violators face imprisonment and fines ranging from AED 20,000 to AED 500,000. Stay informed about UAE cryptocurrency regulations to protect your financial interests.
•E-Robot Transmission: Article 54 targets the creation or alteration of e-robots for disseminating false news within the country. Convictions under this article may result in imprisonment for up to 2 years and fines of up to AED 1 million. Be aware of UAE laws concerning e-robots and the consequences of spreading fake data.
•Online Threats and Blackmail: Article 42/1 criminalizes online threats designed to coerce individuals into specific actions. Penalties include imprisonment for up to 2 years and fines ranging from AED 250,000 to AED 500,000. Additionally, Article 42 outlines that threats coupled with explicit or implied requests for actions may result in provisional imprisonment for up to 10 years. Familiarize yourself with UAE regulations on online threats to avoid legal trouble.
•Breach of Privacy: Article 44 addresses privacy violations, penalizing those who infringe upon an individual's private or family life without consent. The punishment includes detention for no less than 6 months and fines between AED 150,000 and AED 500,000. Learn about UAE privacy laws and respect individuals' privacy to steer clear of legal issues.
Furthermore, Article 44 covers actions like eavesdropping, intercepting, recording, or disclosing conversations and images, as well as spreading harmful content, even if accurate. Unauthorized publication of photographs, especially of accident victims, is also deemed an offense, along with the unlawful acquisition and disclosure of geographical data.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of UAE cybercrime laws and ensure your compliance, valuable resources are available online. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship offers information on these laws and provides a platform for reporting cybercrimes.
HOW TO REPORT A CYBERCRIME IN THE UAE?
The cybercrime in the UAE had been seeing a growing trend. Keeping that in mind the UAE government had issued advisories and have developed some software where people who have been a victim of some online crime may report them. The table below indicates the reporting method and its description.
To report cybercrimes in the UAE, there are a few options available: Three options mainly.
•Firstly, you can make use of the 'My Safe Society' app, which was launched by the federal Public Prosecution. This app can be found on iTunes.
•Secondly, report the cybercrime directly to the nearest police station in your area. In case of immediate assistance, you can call 999.
•Thirdly, if you come across any prohibited content, you can report it to the Internet Service Providers in the UAE.
The UAE's rigorous anti-cybercrime framework, exemplified by the 2021 Cybercrimes Law, underscores the country's and it Regulator’s commitment to maintain a secure digital landscape. Staying informed about these laws is crucial for avoiding legal repercussions and safeguarding your online reputation. Seek professional legal guidance if you are confronted with cybercrime allegations and promptly report any cybercrimes to aid in the fight against this evolving threat.
Our team frequently extends its legal expertise and advice on cybercrime law and assist individuals and corporates whether facing cybercrime charges or wanting to report and file against cybercrimes committed against them. Let us know and we are sure to support you.