New UAE cybercrime law: Up to Dh200,000 fine for online impersonation

Up to two years in prison if the offender uses fake accounts to defame impersonated person

By Sherouk Zakaria

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 5:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 5:27 PM

Under the new UAE cybercrime law, creating a fake account or posting misleading ads online can land users in jail.

Impersonating someone online using a fake email, website or account brings a fine of not less than Dh50,000 and not exceeding Dh200,000 or a jail term or both.

The penalty escalates to two years in prison if the offender uses the fake accounts to defame the impersonated.

The Federal Decree Law no. 5 of 2021 on Combating Cybercrimes, effective from January 2, 2022, covers new areas of the internet, bringing major amendments to Federal Law 5 of 2012.

Under article 48, posting misleading ads or inaccurate data about a product online or engaging in unlicensed trading in cryptocurrencies can land the offender in jail or bring a fine of not less than 20,000 and not exceeding 500,000 or both penalties.

Selling medical products without a license can lend the offender a fine or a jail term or both.

The law also criminalizes conducting online surveys and polls without a permit with a jail term or a fine starting from Dh100,000 to Dh500,000 or both penalties.

The new law comes as part of the largest set of legislative reforms announced on Saturday as the UAE embarks on its next five decades.

The UAE announced changing 40 laws with aims to develop the legislative structure of various sectors including investment, trade and industry, commercial companies, residency, online security and social affairs.

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