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Tue 2 Aug 2016 10:41 AM

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No VPN ban in UAE, says telecoms authority

Only use of virtual networks to commit fraud or other crimes is punishable by law

No VPN ban in UAE, says telecoms authority

UAE companies are free to use a VPN as long as the activity does not break the country’s laws.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) tweeted that there is no regulation that prevents VPN used by companies, institutions and banks to gain access to internal networks via the internet.

“The laws target only those who misuse virtual networks services and will not affect any legitimate activity consistent with #UAE laws,” said a TRA tweet.

Using a VPN “purpose of manipulating internet protocols with the intent to commit any fraud or crime is punishable by law,” said the TRA in another tweet.

The statement was in response to social media rumours over VPN use.

"The
TRA assures businesses and the public that it is fully committed to the safety
and the smooth flow of economic activities for UAE-based companies and
institutions, highlighting that there are no regulations which prevent the use
of VPN technology by companies, institutions and banks to access their internal
networks through internet," the TRA said in a media statement.

"However, business users can be held accountable,
like the use of any other technology, if it has been misused."

In
relation to the recently issued amendment on the Federal Law No. (5) of 2012, the TRA
said that the law is not new in its essence and that the only changes were
related to tightening the penalty or punishment for any violation when VPNs are used in a fraudulent act and the intention is to commit a crime.

"The TRA
further urged to read the actual violation mentioned in the law, which says:
'using a false IP address or a third-party address by any other means for the
purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery', in order to
understand the law correctly and where the punishment is exclusively linked to
the mentioned fraudulent act and the intent to commit a crime or prevent its
discovery."

“The
UAE is proud of being one of the countries that encourage investment and
openness to ICT-based economic activities,"
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of TRA, said. 

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