Cybercrime is on the rise worldwide and is a threat not only to one’s reputation but also involves financial damage along with loss of privacy and intellectual property. In order to streamline, modifications to old laws have been made with stricter regulations and penalties.
More than 2.5 million consumers in the UAE have been the victims of cybercrime in the last year, according to newly released data from cyber security giant Norton by Symantec. Addressing the issue, UAE has put forward clear and strict laws against cybercrimes, with various penalties that can include lengthy prison terms and fines of up to AED 3 million.
UAE Cybercrime Law No. 5 of 2012, which was issued by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, includes a range of violations and penalties, with fines ranging between AED 50,000 and AED 3 million depending on the type and severity of offence.
Here are the fines with respective crimes:
- Those caught gaining access to a website, network or system without authorisation are to be imprisoned and fined with a minimum of AED 50,000, but fines can go as high as AED 1 Million if personal information is stolen or deleted.
- Those caught using technology to invade someone else’s privacy, which can even include eavesdropping, copying photos or publishing news can be jailed for six months and face fines of ranging from AED 150,000 – AED 300,000.
- The most severe penalty: Five years in jail and AED 3 million fine is reserved for those who run malicious software that causes a network or IT system to stop functioning ‘or results in crashing, deletion, omission, destruction and alteration of the programme, system, website, data or information’.
Additionally, the law stipulates various penalties for a number of other cybercrimes, including insulting religions and their rituals, slandering public officials, forging electronic official documents, sending or re-publishing pornographic materials, reproducing credit or debit card data, and obtaining secret pin codes or passwords.
Beware of strange emails that may seem legitimate but which are actually phishing scams.