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February 11, 2018


UAE legal Q&A: what is the punishment for spreading rumours?

Question: What is the Federal Penal code in the UAE that deals with rumours and the punishment for offenders? Also what would you advise people regarding their online behavior when it comes to receiving or forwarding hoax messages?

Answer: Cyber Crime Law No 5 of 2015 pertains to cyber-crime. Any breach of privacy, illegal access to information or misuse of information can be defined as a cyber-crime in the UAE.

Article 2 of the above law ascertains that any act committed by a person where he enters an information system or a website illegally is a crime and punishable by imprisonment of not less than 6 months or a fine not less than Dh100,000. The crimes become grave if the act above leads to the damage, disclosure or deletion of any information or data.

The punishment for the crime in article 2 in the event the person is on the job is imprisonment of not less than 1 years and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 and not exceeding Dh1,000,000.

Article 12 includes all acts that illegally access any database or information system to access bank accounts, payments credit and other electronic cards as cyber-crimes punishable by 6 months imprisonment and a fine not less than Dh1,000. If the same crime results in accessing or gaining someone else's money the imprisonment shall increase to 1 year and a fine of 2000 dhs and not exceeding Dh1,000,000.

Article no 9 of the cyber-crime laws says that if anyone accesses an IP address, misuses it or denies access to the rightful owners of it, for the purposes of committing a crime, shall face imprisonment and a fine not exceeding Dh500,000.

A combination of fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the judge can be imposed on anyone whose online behavior is considered to be improper, illegal, or against the interest of society or governance. Anyone using electronic media and information within the UAE should be careful to adhere to these regulations and laws while using the electronic media and the information shared or exchanged therein, as it could have serious repercussions of found to be in breach of the Cyber Crime Law.

Deportation is mandatory if convicted of a cybercrime. It is advisable to keep up to date security and antivirus software and firewalls, and to not disclose personal informant like the name and ID. Also, in view of the recent increase in shams, please remember that money does not come from the sky.

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