UAE announces spreading rumours a criminal offence
Rumour-mongering is a criminal offence in the UAE, therefore; due care needs to be taken when posting or sharing information on social media, Zawya reported. Under Federal Legal Decree No 5 for 2012 on combating cybercrimes, spreading rumours “damaging social peace and public order” and causing damage to “national peace” empowers the UAE government to prosecute concerned individuals. Article 29 of the Federal Legal Decree No 5 for 2012 states those proven guilty face imprisonment and a civil fine not exceeding Dhs1m. Other countries in the West have similar laws governing the dissemination of data that could cause harm to national security. Spreading rumours used to be considered fairly harmless, but with the emergence of ‘twitteratis’ and compulsive Facebook users, it has now acquired a fairly dangerous hue.