UAE federal laws tackle media governance, cybercrime

WAM/Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 23, 2016 | Last updated on July 23, 2016 at 07.00 am
UAE federal laws tackle media governance, cybercrime

Cyber crimes shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and/or a fine of no less than Dh500,000 and not exceeding Dh2,000,000

A number of special federal laws have been issued by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, including one on regulating the competencies of the National Media Council (NMC), and on combating cybercrime and judicial fees at federal courts.

Yet another one amends Federal Law No. 45/1992 pertaining to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Regulating the competencies of the NMC, Federal Law No. 11/ 2016 states the National Media Council is the federal government body established to oversee and undertake the media affairs of the UAE. It is a government body affiliated with the Cabinet and shall have its seat in Abu Dhabi City. The Council may set up branches and offices inside and outside the UAE.

Article 4 of the law states NMC's objectives: to develop the UAE's media policy, draft media legislation and ensure its execution and co-ordinate the media policy between the emirates, in line with the UAE's domestic and foreign policy to ensure support for the Federation of the UAE and project national unity.

Its Article 5 elaborates on the NMC's scope of jurisdiction which covers a number of areas and functions.

Article 10 is of particular importance: it states that media organisations in the state must comply with the regulations and rules issued by the Council, as well as commit themselves to provide information and data required by it to achieve its objectives.

Hefty fines, temp imprisonment for cybercriminals

The Federal Law No. 12/2016 amends the existing Federal Law No. 5/2012 on combating information technology crimes.

Article 1 provides for replacing the text of Article 9 of Federal Law No. 9/2012 as follows: "Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh500,000 and not exceeding Dh2,000,000, or either of these two penalties.

The laws shall be published in the Official Gazette and will come into effect the day following publication.

- Wam

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