Telecoms authority pushes back on internet rumours about Virtual Private Networks
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Dubai has moved to quash rumours circulating on social media about the use of Virtual Private Network (VPNs) to bypass local restrictions on internet use and delivery.
News of a AED5,000 fine for VPN has been spreading on Facebook and Twitter in the last few days, forcing the TRA to issue the rebuttal – and ask the public to refrain for sharing it.
There has long been controversy and no little confusion about the legality of VPN use in the UAE, culminating in an August 2016 statement from the TRA insisting that, “There are no legislations in the country that obstruct the economic movement or the work of local or international companies based in the UAE”.
The TRA has always maintained that it is only concerned with the use of VPN for illegal or fraudulent policies, as outlined in Federal Law No.5 issued in 2012.
However, fines for such infractions were raised in 2016 from AED15,000 to AED500,000 to AED500,000 to AED2,000,000.
The use of VPNs has come under the spotlight again following the recent ban on Skype in the UAE.