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Sharjah, N.Emirates to Get Cyber Crime Court
[December 15, 2009]

Sharjah, N.Emirates to Get Cyber Crime Court

ABU DHABI, Dec 16, 2009 (Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A federal court to deal with cyber crime cases in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates will soon be established in Sharjah, according to the Minister of Justice.

Dr Hadif bin Jowan Al Dhaheri, speaking on the sidelines of the third International Cyber Crimes Conference in the Capital on Tuesday, also said UAE's Cyber Law will be amended to match the sophistication of online crimes that are being committed everyday.

"The law governing cyber crime needs to be updated in order to match the progress in cyber technology," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"Thus, we are studying to make amendments on the executive regulations of the cyber law." The cyber crime court in Sharjah will follow similar courts already established in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"We are also working now to establish a special court related to cyber crime similar to that which deals with labour matters," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"We have already three judges who have a doctorate degree in cyber crimes. This cyber court will be federal and will be located in Sharjah to deal mostly with cyber crime cases in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates," he added without giving the time frame.

Asked about the number of online crimes committed in the UAE, the minister said he doesn't have the statistics but noted that "A lot of cases happened now through the internet which has affected the economy and many businesses." Dr Al Dhaheri said the main two cyber crimes involved blackmailing and pornography, and financial fraud.

Major General Ahmed Nassir Alraisi, general director of Central Operations at the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, the estimated loss of reported cyber crime cases in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is between $550-735 million per annum.

"But this is not including the unreported cases as some victims -- corporation and enterprises -- feel that the negative media exposure would cause them more loss that what they've already lost in these cases," he said.

Abdul Aleem Sayed, chief information security architect at the Abu Dhabi Police stated that it is the responsibility of the organisations that handle sensitive client information to protect them.

"It's part of good governance or their corporate social responsibility to protect the financial information of their customers. They owe it to their customers," he said.

Sayed said that in the US, corporations and financial organisations are bound by law to protect their clients' information, failing which would mean a 10-year imprisonment of the company chief executives or chief financial officers and a million dollar fine.

"That's what we need (here), the responsibility should be for the CEO and CFO to start protecting their client's information. The government's role is to put this law through, they should take a proactive role on this," he stressed.

He also noted the lack of available statistics on cyber crime especially relating to finances.

"Statistics are shady due to lack of reporting especially from banks," he told Khaleej Times. Sayed said the upcoming changes in the cyber law and the establishment of a special court in Sharjah were positive moves.

During the conference, experts discussed the procedural conflicts in applying the law of cyber crimes.

Dr Mohamed Al Kamali, director general of the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies highlighted several problems including pinning down the place of the crime, or the country where the hacking was committed, and the conflicting criminal law per country.

He added that many hackers use pseudonyms, making it difficult to track them down. In addition, a number of these hackers are minors posing another conflict. ------ To see more of the Khaleej Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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