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Cybercrime Update: Think Twice Before You Post!

UAE Federal Decree Law No. 5 of 2021 on Combating Cybercrimes, which came into effect on 2 January 2022, brings several noteworthy changes to Federal Law No. 5 of 2012, that residents in the UAE need to be aware of.

According to the new UAE cybercrime law, taking pictures of accident victims without their consent and circulating them online are punishable with a six-month jail term or a fine between AED 150,000 to AED 500,000 or both. The new cybercrime law further states that individuals engaging in online begging or seeking illegitimate assistance from government entities through electronic platforms can be subjected to 3 months in prison, an AED 10,000 fine or both. Offenders will also face a fine ranging from AED 100,000 to AED 500,000, a 6-month jail time, or both, if they defame a foreign country on social media. 

The amendments in the new cybercrime law thus show an increase in cybersecurity provisions in the UAE and display the intensified efforts of the government to protect the privacy of individuals by levying the heaviest fines on anyone who invades the privacy of others using electronic means. The offender is penalized with a jail term of at least one year and a fine of at least AED 250,000 or both of these two penalties.

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