UAE new law: Tough stance on bullying, fake news, online harassment

Laws gives courts powers to confiscate devices, software, content or other means used in the pursuit of a crime


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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Sat 27 Nov 2021, 4:28 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Nov 2021, 4:50 PM

New laws regarding cyber-crimes and combatting online harassment, bullying and fake news will become effective January 2, 2022, the Government Media Office said Saturday.

It is one of the first comprehensive legal frameworks in the region to address concerns raised by online technologies and their applications and abuse.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, approved a wide-ranging reform of the country’s legal system, which aims to strengthen economic, investment and commercial opportunities.

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


The cyber-crimes law aims to enhance community protection from online crimes committed through the use of networks and information technology platforms.

The laws hope to better protect public sector websites and databases and combat the spread of rumours and ‘fake news’, safeguarding against electronic fraud and preserving personal privacy and rights.

  • The new law addresses online false advertising or promotions, including unlicensed trading in crypto-currencies and medical products and supplements.
  • 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 gives courts powers to confiscate devices, software, content or other means used in the pursuit of a crime, in addition to the deletion of such information

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