New UAE Online Law Can Punish You For Swearing

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Swearing on social media? You are in deep trouble.

New UAE online law

Online reports in the Middle East claim that the new online law in the UAE can land you in troubled waters

We don’t think twice before abusing anyone. Not anymore. UAE based online news portal, Emirates 24/7, reported that a new law in the UAE could put you behind the bars for swearing online.

The report, citing another Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm said that the fine could be upto Dh250,000 and or jail sentence.

Interestingly expatriates could be deported from the UAE if found guilty under this law.

Furthermore, the Federal Supreme Court has found a man swearing at another on WhatsApp, guilty under this law.

We are awaiting details on the same from the authorities.

Till then, keep wondering what all fall under the “swear word”category.

As soon as the news broke out, ‘New UAE online law’ has been trending on Twitter with residents commenting their opinions on the new ruling.

Backgrounder

UAE Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) has published various online usage guidelines for the UAE residents as a series of ‘White Papers‘ in the past.

One such guidelines states:

“The laws of the UAE prohibit the publication of content, which is contrary to public morals, the principles of Islam and the social and moral welfare of the UAE, or any content that contains irreverence towards Islam and any other heavenly religions. The content must also respect the UAE Government, its leadership, political institutions and ultimately the UAE’s cultural heritage and social norms and customs.”

Commenting on Facebook and its usage, the TRA says:

– You must not post content on Facebook which includes hate speech, incites violence or which is threatening or contains graphic or gratuitous violence. There is also a prohibition on posting material which is pornographic or contains nudity.

– You are not allowed to operate any application which contains alcohol-related, dating or other mature content without appropriate restrictions. There are also restrictions and guidelines on the offering of competitions, promotions and other commercial communications, like spam messages.

– Users must not bully, intimidate or harass others.

– Relating to respect for the privacy of others – you must not post anyone else’s identification documents or sensitive financial information on Facebook.

– If you collect information from others, you must make it clear that you are doing this and post a privacy policy explaining what information is being collected and how it is being used.

– There is a restriction on tagging other users without their consent. Users should be aware of the associated risk under UAE law of claims for defamation and breach of privacy involving

– The use of photographs and videos of other people without consent. UAE law contains quite broad provisions relating to the protection of privacy and reputation so care needs to be taken when posting information about others.

TRA reminds that these restrictions are no more than what users should expect under the laws of the UAE, which prohibit the publication of content which is contrary to public morals, the principles of Islam and the social and moral welfare of the UAE.

Photo credit-Landahlauts/Flickr

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