Special federal laws issued for media governance, cybercrime in UAE

The laws have been issued by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
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A number of special federal laws have been issued by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, including regulation of the competencies of the National Media Council (NMC), combating cybercrime and judicial fees at federal courts, WAM reports.

Federal Law No. 11/ 2016 on regulation of the competencies of the NMC states the Council is the federal government body responsible for overseeing and undertaking the media affairs of the UAE. It is a government body affiliated with the Cabinet and with office in Abu Dhabi City. The Council may set up branches and offices inside and outside the UAE.

The objectives of NMC according to Article 4 of the law states: to develop the UAE’s media policy, draft media legislation and ensure its execution and co-ordinate the media policy between the emirates, in line with the UAE’s domestic and foreign policy to ensure support for the Federation of the UAE and project national unity. Article 5 elaborates on the NMC’s scope of jurisdiction which covers a number of areas and functions.

Article 10 of the law is of particular importance: it states that media organisations in the state must comply with the regulations and rules issued by the Council, as well as commit themselves to provide information and data required by it to achieve its objectives.

Fines and imprisonment for cybercriminals
The existing Federal Law No. 5/2012 has been amended by Federal Law No. 12/2016 on combating information technology crimes. Article 1 provides for replacing the text of Article 9 of Federal Law No. 9/2012 as follows: “Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh500,000 and not exceeding Dh2,000,000, or either of these two penalties. The laws shall be published in the Official Gazette and will come into effect the day following publication.