UAE gets tough on cyber crime: 25 years’ jail time for worst offences

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Cyber criminals in the UAE will soon face up to 25 years’ imprisonment and an AED4 million fine, thanks to amendments to the nation’s Cybercrimes Law.

The decision was confirmed on Monday, 13 August 2018, with President Sheikh Khalifa issuing a decree amending Articles 26, 28 and 42 of the law. The reform addresses not only cyber attacks but also those who facilitate crime.

The penalties apply to anyone who praises politically motivated attacks or who manages websites or publishes online content that aims to incite hatred.

Jail terms and fines of AED1 million can be given to anyone who shares news or images that may endanger national security.

First-time offenders might be placed under probation and prevented from using devices that can be connected to the Internet. Any expatriates found guilty are subject to deportation.

Other punishable offenses include using abusive language through a computer network, and using social media to fundraise or spread rumours.

The decree will come into effect upon its publication in the Official Gazette.

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