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Combating Cybercrime

Due to the importance of the article, Discussion Window is republishing it to increase the level of awareness about combating cybercrime:

Cybercrimes have become among the challenges the state security and police agencies are determined to combat after they have significantly increased due to the increasing use of modern technology in telecommunications, business and financial and banking transactions which provide a ripe ground for cyber-attacks.

Being aware of this growing threat, Abu Dhabi Police has recently formed competent cybercrime fighting teams who receive reports, search websites and block them if they are pornographic in nature. Field teams were also formed to investigate some reports or any incoming information regarding the occurrence of crime that requires more research outside the Office for the Department of Criminal Investigation, Abu Dhabi Police.

The formation of competent cybercrime fighting teams is highly important, especially in light of the following considerations: The first consideration is the increasing use of information technology in public and private institutions as the UAE ranksamong the top countries in the region with regard to the use of the Internet, employment of digital technology and level of electronic readiness, which means that it remains among the highly targeted states by cybercrime.

The results of a cybercrime survey conducted by Symantec/Norton in collaboration with StrategyOne about “viruses” in 42 states published last Septemberrevealed that two persons at least of the UAEfall victims to cybercrime activities per minute due to viruses/malware, online scams, phishing, etc.

The second consideration is related to cybercrimes in the public economic situation, especially that a large percentage of these crimes began to target mainly financial institutions and companies operating throughout the state. Some examples on these crimes are bank fraud using advanced technological means aiming to withdraw money unlawfully through counterfeiting some documents and papers, stealing bank codes or private numbers of customer accounts and credit card data to use them for criminal purposes. These crimes cost the state large amounts of money annually reaching 2.3 billion dirhams during only one year, according to the research conducted by Norton.

However, as much as electronic transactions are increasing, there are formal and semi-formal serious movements that are made to provide a safer environment for e-transactions to enhance the reliability of these transactions. The state always seeks to adopt the latest technologies of electronic applications and the latest mechanisms and solutions for network security in its integrated databases.

The effective security efforts exerted by the security and police agencies leaded by Abu Dhabi Police can address these cybercrimes with high efficiency and professionalism as they adopt techniques that continuously develop and update their abilities and financial and technological resources and upgrade the performance of their personnel. Abu Dhabi Police constantly seeks to adopt the various global technological and electronic developments in the field of combating cybercrime and cybercrime forensics with the aim of establishing experienced personnel in the information security field who will be able to address the differenttypes of cybercrimes, monitor their committers and track them quickly.

Initiative with multiple humanitarian dimensions


In the framework of enforcing the recently announced Cabinet’s Decree to change the status of violators and illegal residents in the state, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship began to receive violators of the Law of Entry and Residency of Foreigners in the state, as part of the initiative “Protect Yourself By Changing Your Status” starting from the first of this August until the end of October, which reflects the state’s keenness to deal positively with all cases where its parties can not respond to the laws in force within the state.

Therefore, the advantage of the new initiative that it prevails the humanitarian aspect on the strict enforcement of laws, by exempting violators of fines and legal consequences resulting from their violation, provided that they do not register any criminal cases and thus enable them to change their status or leave the state with ease.

Due to the spread of such cases all over the state, ICA has equipped nine reception centers to receive such violators, which distributed between Al Shahamah and Al Dhafra in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a center in Al Ain and Al Aweer in Dubai, as well as preparing other centers in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, annexed to Customer Happiness Centers related to General Directorate of Foreigners and Ports. In addition to providing a center to receive questions and queries of the public on a toll free number, which is open 24/7,

With this initiative, UAE remains proactive in taking measures that take into account the humanitarian and social conditions of the violators, thus establishing the humanitarian approach set by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, especially that it comes at the midst of the activities commemorating his memory in his centennial.

The initiative also affirms that UAE will continue to follow his approach in the charities works and humanity serving to achieve its happiness.

The great importance of this initiative, according to the statements of beneficiaries, lies in its solving to many problems related to the violations and large fines that have made some of the violators liable to imprisonment or deprivation from travel for years, while others are under the fear of deportation outside the state and the denial of return again.

The importance of the new initiative lies not only in the exemption from fines, but also, according to ICA, that it allows the beneficiary to obtain a temporary residency without a sponsor for six months through Virtual Labor Market system that allows job seekers, employers and employment agencies to interact with each other under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and conclude employment contracts, and allows visitors or tourists to change their status without paying the simple departure fees of 500 dirham.

This Decree has another important significance, as it reduces the financial burdens imposed on embassies and diplomatic missions of countries whose nationals violate the laws of residency within the UAE. Therefore, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship requested embassies to facilitate the procedures of the violators of their countries, accelerate the completion of their transactions and avoid complications, so that they can benefit from the initiative aimed primarily at taking into account their conditions, alleviating them, enabling them to change their status and living comfortably and reassuringly and benefiting from the services provided by the state to its citizens and residents”.

The Cabinet decided to grant the Citizens of the states suffering from unrest, disasters and wars a one-year residency visa, with full exemption from the residency requirements applied by the ICA, as well as exempting the violators from fines. The procedures for this category are also easy, as they can obtain such services through the electronic channels provided by ICA through the printing offices without having to visit the centers established by ICA for violators.


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