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Dubai Police site allows public to report illegal video calls, online bullying

Dubai Police site allows public to report illegal video calls, online bullying

The UAE has some of the strictest cyber crime laws in the world

Dubai Police has launched an online portal allowing members of the public to report social media issues, illegal internet calls, online bullying and cyber extortion.

The www.ecrime.ae. site comes in cooperation with the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

It is intended to be “an easy and smooth way to report suspicious activities in cyberspace”, according to officials.

Colonel Saeed Al Hajari, director of the cybercrime department at Dubai Police, said the service would allow member of the public and private and public entities to report issues and crimes including “suspicious e-mails, social media-related issues, internet calls, hacking, online bullying and cyber-extortion”.

The UAE has some of the strictest cyber crime laws in the world with fines and jail sentences handed out for insults made on social media or using email and messaging apps.

In February, Dubai’s Court of First Instance sentenced an Indian worker to a Dhs500,000 ($136,125) fine and three months in prison for accusing the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of ripping off the poor.

Read: Dubai court fines Indian man $136,000 for RTA insult

The 25-year-old sent the authority a disgruntled email accusing it of taking “poor people’s money by making them intentionally fail in driving tests and forcing them to repeat the tests” after he failed his test.

Use of unauthorised video calling apps like Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime is also illegal in the country and the announcement appears to indicate the portal could be used to report users.

Read: UAE’s telecoms regulator in talks to lift Skype, FaceTime ban

The launch of the service comes under the Dubai 2021 plan to improve police response times.

Users of the website must first determine whether their report relates to a cybercrime or online service. They then enter their ID card and contact number and confirm the number via a text message before entering personal information.

After detailing the complaint and identifying the whereabouts of the defendant the claim can be submitted.

Al Hajari said the service aims to provide a true and effective measurement of cybercrime and increase the number of complaints filed by public and private companies electronically.

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