Explained: Fines and Sentences for Online Threats and Blackmailing as according to the new Cyber-crime Law in the UAE
With the widespread availability and rapid expansion of the internet, incidents of fraud, impersonation, and online blackmail have become increasingly prevalent. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has established a robust legal framework to combat cyber-crime, ensuring the protection of individuals in the digital realm. This article explores the fines and sentences imposed for online threats and blackmailing under the cyber-crime law in UAE.
- The New Cyber-crimes Law:
The old Cyber-crime Law in UAE, Federal Decree Law No.5 of 2012, has been replaced by the New Cyber-crimes Law of 2021. This updated legislation introduces new concepts, amends existing provisions, and enhances protection and avenues for victims to seek legal recourse.
The New Cyber-crimes Law has also introduced some issues not addressed in the past. One notable aspect is the regulation of cryptocurrency, which was previously unlicensed or unrecognized in the country. According to Article 48 of the law, any form of advertisement, promotion, mediation, or dealing with virtual or cryptocurrency online that is not officially recognized or lacks the necessary license from the competent authority will result in penalties. These penalties can include imprisonment and/or fines ranging from AED 20,000 to AED 500,000.
Additionally the Cyber-crimes Law in the UAE addresses the issue of online threats and blackmailing, imposing penalties for such offenses. According to Article 42/1 of the law, individuals who use online platforms to threaten others in order to force them to perform or refrain from certain acts are subject to legal consequences.
Article 42 of the New Cyber-crimes Law is quoted as follows:
1. Anyone who extorts or threatens another person to induce him to perform or abstain from an act, by using information network or information technology method shall be sentenced to detention for a period of not more than (2) two years and/or to pay fine of not less than (250,000) two hundred fifty thousand Dirhams and not more than (500,000) five hundred thousand Dirhams.
2. If the threat to commit a crime or ascribing honor or consideration to blemishing matters is accompanied by implied or express request to perform or abstain from an act, the penalty shall be provisional imprisonment for a period of not more than (10) ten years.”
Furthermore, the New Cyber-crimes Law also addresses the breach of privacy and intrusion into private or family life through the use of information networks. Actions such as recording conversations, audio or video materials, taking photographs of individuals in public or private spaces, or tracking the geographical locations of others without consent are punishable under this law.
Article 44 of the New Cyber-crimes Law is quoted below:
“Everyone who uses information network, electronic information system or information technology method, for the purpose of breaching the privacy of a person or private or family life of individuals without consent, in other than the cases legally permitted, by either of the following ways, shall be sentenced to detention for a period of not less than (6) six months and/or to pay a fine of not less than (150,000) one hundred fifty thousand Dirhams and not more than (500,000) five hundred thousand Dirhams:
- Eavesdropping, interception, recording, communication, transmission or disclosure of conversations, communications or audio or video materials.
- Taking photographs of others at any public or private place or preparing, communicating, exposing, copying or keeping electronic images thereof.
- Spreading news, electronic images, photographs, footage, comments, data or information, even if true and correct, to harm such a person.
- Taking, communication or publication of photographs of the casualties, dead persons, or victims of accidents or disasters without permission or consent of the concerned persons.
- Tracking, detecting, disclosing, exposing, copying or keeping data of geographical sites of third parties.
Everyone who uses an electronic information system or information technology method to alter or manipulate recordings, images, or footage with the purpose of defaming or abusing another person shall be sentenced to detention for a period of not less than one year and/or to pay a fine.
- Public Awareness and Prevention:
Creating awareness among the general public about the consequences of online threats and blackmailing is crucial. Education campaigns can help individuals understand their rights, the importance of reporting incidents, and the preventive measures they can take to protect themselves online.
By imposing significant fines and sentences for such offenses, the law acts as a strong deterrent. It is important for individuals to be aware of their rights, promptly report incidents, and contribute to the prevention and prosecution of online threats and blackmailing.To access additional articles on criminal law, please sign up on our website and follow us on Instagram. If you have been a victim of blackmailing or cyber-crime, our team of experienced lawyers is here to assist you. Contact us, and we will promptly respond to your inquiry and provide the necessary support +971 4 578 6050