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VPN is illegal or legal – what is the reality?

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If used in conformity with the rules established by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), VPN use is not automatically regarded unlawful in the United Arab Emirates. The TDRA said in August 2016 that VPNs may be used internally by businesses, institutions, and financial institutions. Article 10 of the UAE Cyber Law makes it explicitly clear that utilizing VPNs to engage in illicit activities or conduct crimes is a punishable offense in the UAE. According to this article, offenders can be punished with a fine and jail time of AED 500,000 to AED 2,000,000 if they commit an offense while using a computer network protocol address that does not belong to them.

Clause 1.9 of the TDRA Internet Access Regulations further defines “Prohibited Content Categories.” More information about what is and isn’t allowed on the internet in the UAE may be found in Annex 1 of the TDRA Internet Access Regulations.

You can use a virtual private network (VPN) to make free tele/video calls over the internet. When utilizing a VPN for VOIP conversations, it is essential to avoid using any apps that are banned by the TDRA. The TDRA Internet Access Regulations make it clear that users are not permitted to view restricted websites or use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access restricted websites (Clause 1 and Clause 14 of Annex 1).

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to gain access to a service that is banned in the UAE in order to make a VOIP call is potentially illegal and carries the penalties specified in the UAE Cyber Law. Even if you access a VPN or VOIP service through a website or app that is completely within the law, utilizing it to engage in unlawful activity is still prohibited. As a result, UAE residents must use VPNs and VOIP services responsibly, connecting only to services that are not blocked by the government.

Need expert legal advice in the UAE? Contact us for professional and trustworthy assistance.

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