Dubai authorities not scrutinising social media: Report

(Patrick Castillo)

Dubai’s security authorities are not actively monitoring social media interactions as they respect the privacy of users of such services, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.

“There is no censorship whatsoever on social media networks… reports in this respect are mere rumours that are intended to cause trouble to security authorities in the UAE,” Emarat Al Youm daily said, quoting Al Ameen officials.

It said the officials in Al Ameen, which was launched by Dubai’s security in 2003 to promote good use of online services, affirmed that social media and other relevant facilities are governed by federal laws which include punishment only for those who abuse those services and violate such laws.

The officials reported that they have received more than 10,780 contacts through the hotline “8004888” since the service was launched, adding that they included about 7,800 contacts related to criminal activities including electronic blackmail.

They noted that blackmail activities, mainly sexual blackmail, have largely increased over the past years, with 212 cases recorded in 2014 against 80 in 22013.

They said the service is open round the clock and that it receives information in various fields, including security, criminal activities such as drugs, human trafficking and liquor trade, family problems, reckless driving and other incidents.

“The officials affirmed that Al Ameen ensures secrecy for all those who contact the service to provide information,” the paper said.

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