Accessing VPNs in the UAE: Is it illegal?
The topic of using VPNs in the UAE came up in particular during the recent confirmation of the ban on Skype audio and video calls in the country. If you are new to the term, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) acts like a cloak on your computer/smartphone/tablet and allocates you another IP address different from the one specified by your Internet provider. VPNs can be used to access blocked websites or as an extra layer of security when doing sensitive online transactions (make payments, etc.). It can also be used for malicious purposes such as hacking and other forms of cybercrime.
Some are still confused if it is legal or not to use VPNs since before, there have been announcements of cybercrime fines of up to AED 2 million as per Federal Decree No. 5 of 2012
As a general rule, the violation is based on “Using a fake IP address or a third party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery“.
Accessing VPNs in the UAE is legal, depending on the terms and conditions.
Use VPNs legally, depending on the terms and conditions
How does a VPN work? Generally, the applications we use search in a file Internet Protocol (IP) To locate our smartphones, tablets or computers. The VPN replaces the IP address with a new one that hides the location, thus enabling users to access restricted websites.
Using a VPN has its advantages. If you work remotely, for example, a VPN allows you to log into your company’s network and Access to internal resources. Likewise, can protect your data When connecting to free Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, cafes, metro stations and other public places. Moreover, banks use VPNs for Prevent intruders access to their clients’ accounts.
On the other hand, a VPN can also Hide malicious activities It was done intentionally by certain groups or individuals. In this case, it is used illegally, for example when hacking a personal account or stealing private information.
Using VPNs in the UAE
In the UAE, some individuals – such as those with European or US subscriptions – may use VPNs to access VoIP services. Through these networks, they can also access geo-restricted websites and streaming services such as spotify And hollow.
A VPN replaces your IP address and hides the location of your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Similarly, the telecom service providers in the country, Telecom And du, as presented VoIP packages Starts from 50 dirhams per month. These allow you to use your service provider’s Wi-Fi and mobile data to make calls. This may include international video calls as well as voice calls.
Cybercrime Law in the United Arab Emirates
In 2012 , His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, issued Cybercrime Law in the United Arab Emirates. Depending on the severity and severity of the crime, lawbreakers may face fines between 500,000 dirhams – 2 million dirhams, even a mad rule!
Regarding this, the United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Also warn against illegal use of VPNs. Specifically, according to Law No. 9The police may take legal action against anyone using a VPN for illegal and malicious activities.
Referring to a recent amendment to Federal Law No. (05) of 2012, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority indicated that the law is not new in essence and that the only changes were related to stiffening the penalty or penalty for any violation. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority urged the concerned parties to read the actual violation mentioned in the law, which specifies:Using a fake IP address or a third party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discoveryNoting that the penalty is linked exclusively to the aforementioned fraud and the intent to commit a crime or prevent its discovery. – WAM news agency
So make sure you understand the risks and consequences as you could face a hefty fine – or worse – end up spending some time in jail.
Make sure to use only legal channels when making calls.
With or without a VPN, we must always make sure that we use only legal channels to communicate with our loved ones. After all, we don’t want them to worry about us! Let’s also note that since the beginning of 2018, our phone bills now include Value Added Tax (VAT).