UAE Cybercrime Law: Strident penalties for spreading rumours and spreading fake news

According to the report of Gulf News, spreading rumors or spreading false information online has always been a criminal offense in the UAE. However, with the current modifications to the UAE’s Cybercrime Law, the penalties for such offenses have become more severe.

Anyone who publish, republish, or circulate fake news, information, or propaganda, they can face up to a year in prison and a fine of Dh100,000.

Federal Law 5 of 2012, the Cybercrimes Law, has been significantly amended by the new Federal Decree Law No 34 of 2021, which covers offenses committed online.

People that propagate rumors aim for a variety of purposes, including psychological, financial, social, and economic ones.

“Due to the dangerous nature of the crime, Emirati legislators have sought stringent punishments in the new amendment to effectively combat rumours and cybercrimes.”

Under Article 52 of Federal Decree-Law No 34 of 2021 on combating rumours and cybercrimes, anyone propagating rumours or posting false news online faces a year in prison and a Dh100,000 fine.

“The punishment can be up to two years in jail and a fine of Dh200,000 if the information published or shared results in agitating or stirring up public opinion against State authorities or institutions or are committed during times of pandemics, crises, emergencies or disasters,” authority said. 

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