The surging use of VPN has been a notable trend in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the last few years. Both businesses and individuals have their reasons to use virtual private networks (VPNs). Generally, they use a VPN for the security and privacy of data.
While both individuals and business entities seek the best VPN in UAE, they also ask a pertinent question. They wonder if using a VPN in the UAE is legal and, if so, the extent to which its use is permissible.
Put simply, the legality of using a VPN in the UAE depends on the purposes for which you use it. Read on to know more about it.
Is It Legal To Use VPN In UAE?
There is no legal article in the UAE Constitution that directly prohibits using a VPN by either an individual or a business entity. The latter has a written consent to use a VPN for legal and commercial purposes.
Alongside securing user data, VPNs also provide users with data privacy. To tap the potential of these advantages, organizations allow their remote employees to use a VPN despite having several security measures in place.
Individuals can also use it as long as they do not utilize it for an activity termed “illegal” as per the land law.
In 2012, Article 9 underwent some changes due to which the law surrounding the use of a VPN became all the more stringent in the UAE. It clearly states what constitutes the legal use of a VPN in the country. According to it, using a VPN to commit or hide a crime is illegal and a punishable offense.
Technically, using a third party or a false address to circumvent a computer network protocol is not permissible in the country. Offenders who commit such an act are liable to face imprisonment or a fine of up to Dh2 million.
To keep individuals and businesses posted with the information about the use of VPN, the TRA has issued certain guidelines in conjunction with the Government of the UAE. For users, it is legally safe to use a VPN in the UAE by complying with these guidelines.
Whether you are a citizen or a visitor in the UAE, knowing what you can access and what you can’t is your best bet to bypass any legal issue. Read on to know more about it.
What Can You & Can’t Access Through VPN In UAE?
There are certain things that you can or cannot access with a VPN in the UAE. As a user, the knowledge of both these aspects can help you avoid legal issues.
Legally, you can access the following in the UAE:
- Content that is not in violation of the moral laws in the UAE
- Content that neither spreads hatred nor is intended to gather people to protest against the existing system of laws in the country
- Content that is legal and accessible but has geo-location-related restrictions
You can access the above pieces of content in the UAE with the help of a VPN. Now, you might want to know about the types of content that the laws of the land do not permit you to access. Such pieces of content include the following:
- Content against the religion followed in the country
- Content that promotes hatred
- Sites that host vulgar or pornographic content
- Content that encourages gambling
- Content restricted by the authorities
- Content or websites that encourage fraudulent activities
Whether it is about using a VPN for work from home, internet browsing, or any other purpose, bearing the aforementioned considerations in mind is of paramount importance. In most instances, users commit a mistake due to a lack of awareness. Keeping the strict laws of the UAE, especially after the amendment of Article 9, in mind, you might want to avoid doing so at all costs.
Some users of VPNs live under the impression that they can use a high-quality VPN to escape surveillance in the UAE. While using such a VPN can improve your user experience, it may not help you avoid surveillance if there are tough measures.
Because the VPN-usage laws in the UAE provide for strict action in case of violation, refraining from its use for activities that aren’t legally allowed is the best policy for users to avoid risks.
VPNs are legal in many countries across the globe. The list of such countries also includes the UAE. As long as you bear the dos and don’ts of using a VPN in the UAE in mind, you can use it for your benefit without being entangled in any legal hassle. Consider making a checklist of do’s and don’ts and keep it handy for your reference.