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UAE to toughen up on cybercrime



A new draft law to crack down on online crimes has been approved by the Federal National Council, according to a report by 7days. The proposal would raise these offences from a misdemeanour to a much more serious offence, which could result in hefty fines or a prison term.

Reports claim that fines would be increased from between AED150,000 to AED500,000, to between AED500,000 to AED2 million. And that’s not all – tougher penalties could see offenders imprisoned for more than three years.

According to Sharjah and legislative committee member Jassem Abdullah Al Naqbi, the harsher laws are in-line with modern crimes and scams, which include hacking, stealing credit card details and online blackmailing.

“Though cybercrime penalties have been in place, more stringent measures had to be introduced to fight online offences and protect people and organisations from damages caused through cyber attacks,” Al Naqbi told 7days.

Online crimes can also be extended into the real world. Last November head of forensics at Dubai Police warned residents about oversharing on social media. Colonel Ahmed Al Muhairi, head of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology at Dubai Police told reporters that criminals can monitor social media to know when their victims are out of the house, in order to plan a crime such as a robbery.

“Today, most people post their daily activities on social media. They post where they have breakfast, which clubs they go to, where they live, what jewellery or other expensive things they buy,” he said.

“Not only this, the problem is that some parents post pictures of their children, and also the school they go to, their class teachers and friends, as well as all the activities which their kids do after school and on weekly basis.”

In order to keep yourself safe – only login to confidential websites on private computers, don’t share your passwords with anyone, get a good firewall, report anything suspicious, and try not to tag yourself in too much on social media.

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