UAE's cyber law changes will stop terror in its tracks

Many believe their virtual avatars are smokescreens and it's easy to cover their tracks.

Published: Mon 13 Aug 2018, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Aug 2018, 10:57 PM

We may be cyber savvy but are we cyber secure? With the virtual world leading the real by the hand, people often fail to distinguish between friend and foe and are busy making connections without due diligence while saying what comes to their mind. In this scenario, the UAE has done well to come up with updated laws that keep pace with the times and technological advances. That's because people, terrorists and criminals care little for sensitivities. An anything-goes attitude often gets folks into trouble. Online, just like in the normal world, we are known by the company we keep. Who were talking to and about what matters. The rise of the reputational economy could make or mar us, sometimes even for minor infractions. So throwing a racist fit is unacceptable; speaking to a terrorist who lies in wait in the garb of a holy man could be worse. Awareness of the laws of the land will help shed the naivete and ignorance when we are deeply entrenched with new techonology. Many believe their virtual avatars are smokescreens and it's easy to cover their tracks. In fact, many stakeholders on the Internet or social media are tracking us online, crunching our mean and clean selves into data.

Others are threatening us and our communities with fake news and forwards, and we are walking into virtual traps, eyes closed. Social media is the first step, it has been confirmed, that sows the seeds of extremist ideologies that prod people into terror activities propagated by groups like Daesh and Al Qaeda. Handlers and those tossing around their noxious doctrine could live thousands of miles away. The ease of online connectivity means there is speed in which dangerous thought and ideas are disseminated. And countries cannot stand idle, doing nothing about the madness being promoted online, all in the guise of freedom of speech. Indeed, regulations and cyber laws are vital in ensuring we stay out of harm's way. The UAE's cyber law amendments are because states (not social media firms) have the ability to punish offenders. Companies like Facebook cannot be expected to police the Net, but should work with law enforcement authorities in the UAE to proactively track and bring those with terror and criminal links to book.

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