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A senior official in the Dubai Police force has stated that the use of Virtual Private Networks is illegal across the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates 247 reports the comments of Saeed Al Hajri, Director of the Cybercrime Division of the Dubai Police. When responding to a question about how law enforcement would deal with internet related crimes, when the perpetrators were using VPNs, Al Hajri replied that “Tampering with the Internet network is a crime.”
“Manipulating the network is a crime by itself under UAE law. We have a special article just for this. We don’t look at the case from just one angle, we are waiting for the criminal to fail on just one fault,” Al Hajri is quoted as saying by Arabian Business.
The United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has always insisted that the use of Virtual Private Networks is against its policies, but this explicit statement reiterates just how seriously the gulf state’s government takes the issue.
VPN Creative notes that suo motos (court orders) would unlikely be used against an individual for using a VPN, but would be considered as an additional charge to be held against someone caught engaging in separate crimes.
The focus on internet related crimes in the region comes after the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority began monitoring social media networks for abuse in a crackdown on social media offenses, announced in a press conference last week. “We have started monitoring all social media channels – all websites and profiles are monitored,” Ghaith Al Mazaina of the TRA told 7 Days in Dubai.
Author Alan Martin, ESET