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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Jail terms of up to 25 years as part of tougher penalties under UAE's cybercrime laws 

Amendments to the law issued in 2012 include longer jail terms and increases in fines

An Abu Dhabi conference has been told "robust conversations" must be had in order to safeguard children from online exploitation. AP
An Abu Dhabi conference has been told "robust conversations" must be had in order to safeguard children from online exploitation. AP

Cyber criminals face jail terms of up to 25 years and fines of as much as Dh4 million after tough new penalties were issued by President Sheikh Khalifa on Monday.

The update to the UAE's cybercrime law of 2012 increases penalties for offenders and now includes a jail term of between 10 to 25 years and fines ranging from Dh2m to Dh4m, for anyone who facilitates online communication between terrorists or unauthorised groups and their members with the general public. .

Penalties also apply to anyone who promotes or praises these illegal groups’ ideas, finances their activities, or aids the manufacture of incendiary devices, explosives or any other materials used in terrorism acts, reported state news agency Wam.

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The changes also include imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of Dh500,000 to Dh1m for whoever establishes, manages or runs a website or publishes content online or uses the internet with the aim to incite hate.

First-time offenders may be placed under electronic probation and monitoring, and prevented from using gadgets during a prescribed penalty period.

Temporary imprisonment and a fine of around Dh1m will be imposed on those managing websites carrying news or cartoon drawings, or any other pictures which may endanger the national security and the higher interests of the State, afflict public order, or threaten any member of the judicial courts system, reported Wam.

Any guilty expatriates are also subject to deportation, according to the law.

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