Strengthening Global Efforts to Combat Cyber Crime

  • 10 August 2014

With the UAE emerging as one of the leading countries laying emphasis on human rights, dignity and freedom, there is now renewed focus on protecting the society – citizens, residents and visitors – from crimes that threaten their security and prevent them from exercising their rights. This includes cybercrimes, which includes electronic fraud, intellectual property infringement, defamation, money laundering and extends to terrorism and threats to society and sovereignty. All these crimes are spreading around the world and threaten the future of the society by exploiting the latest technological tools and applications.

Following instructions from the wise leadership, under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), the UAE passed Federal Law No. 2/2006 to fight cybercrime. The UAE legislature also issued Federal Law No. 5/2012 to keep up with the rapid developments taking place in information and communications technology (ICT) sector, which is spreading these crimes. Numerous rules and regulations have been put in place to combat serious illegal practices. The legislations and procedures have kept the perpetrators on a tight leash and there is a need to extend them considering the growing prevalence of such offences. This is part of the efforts made to protect the society from such crimes and safeguarding the nation’s security against terrorism of all kinds.

As a result of these efforts, the UAE now ranks 11th globally, and 1st in the Arab, Middle East and North Africa region, in terms of protection of intellectual property rights and combat against software piracy, according to the annual survey conducted by Business Software Producers Union. This is a tremendous achievement considering the challenge posed by widespread use of ICT across the UAE and is due to the wise leadership’s keenness to build a knowledge-based society and to use smart government applications for improving the population’s standard of living.

As a research center dedicated toward addressing strategic issues, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) has been keen for a long time to highlight the phenomenon of cybercrime, its proliferation around the world and the threat it poses to global security. The ECSSR has made efforts to study this phenomenon and has created a strong regional and global foundation to combat it. The ECSSR’s 18th annual conference in April 2013 was titled ‘The Future of Warfare in the 21st Century’.

Recommendations made during this conference, and during other such events, have called for collective efforts to address cybercrime in its various forms, and the development of efficient global legal and legislative frameworks to keep up with the changes taking place in this domain. The need for greater efforts to raise awareness were also stressed during these events and methods to protect the community from falling prey to these crimes were discussed, especially those dealing with extremism, terrorism, international financial networks and those that can destabilize global economy.