New UAE law: Devices used to spread fake news to be confiscated; content could be deleted

The legislative amendment aims to enhance community protection from online crimes

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Photo: File
Photo: File

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 28 Nov 2021, 11:42 AM

The UAE's new law about fake news, combatting online harassment and bullying will give powers to the local courts to confiscate devices, software, content or other means used in the crime.

As part of the new wide-ranging reforms announced on Saturday, the new law also empowers the courts to delete such information.

It is one of the first comprehensive legal frameworks in the region to address concerns raised by online technologies and their applications and abuse. It will come into effect from January 2, 2022.

Over 40 laws are included in the changes, which together represent the largest legal reform in the young nation’s 50-year history.

The law contains provisions related to fake news and misleading information, using online tools, networks and platforms to broadcast, publish, republish, circulate or recirculate fake news, including false and misleading information, false reports purporting to originate from official sources or that falsely misrepresent official announcements.


The law aims to enhance community protection from online crimes committed through the use of networks and information technology platforms, protecting public sector websites and databases, combatting the spread of rumours and ‘fake news’, safeguarding against electronic fraud and preserving personal privacy and rights.

False advertising

The new law also addresses online false advertising or promotions, including unlicensed trading in crypto-currencies and medical products and supplements.

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