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The Internet is a collection of computer networks around the world that are connected by telephone lines, satellites, fiber optic and coaxial cables, and wireless connections. They communicate with each other using internet protocols. The Internet works a lot like a postal system, except it is much faster. The Internet is a very dynamic structure, when a person logs on to the Internet they are given access to many computers around the world that are connected. With the help of the internet, there is a whole new sector for trading of products and services and a virtual market is created; thus requiring laws to be regulated. What are Cyber laws/ Internet laws? Cyber laws illustrate the legal issues related to use of the internet as a tool for communication. It is a discrete field of law when compared to property or contract law, as it is an area that covers many aspects of law and regulation like privacy, intellectual property, jurisdiction and freedom of expression. Who regulates the Internet in UAE? Internet regulation in the UAE is governed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). It has been established according to the UAE Federal Law by Decree No. 3 of 2003 – Telecom Law. The TRA has finalized the licensing of Etisalat and Du as the two telecommunication operators in the UAE. TRA was elected for a seat in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council of the United Nations. TRA envisions to create an optimal enabling environment in which the UAE’s ICT sector will emerge as a leader in the global market place, with a mission to support an enable the ICT sector in the UAE by safe guarding competition, providing fair access to the domestic infrastructure, to enhance the quality of services offered, to raise public awareness, to protect the consumers interest, and to facilitate the growth of e-commerce. They hope to attain these commitments through the encouragement of investment, innovation, development and education, by attracting and retaining a highly skilled and motivated workforce, and by upholding their social and environmental responsibilities. TRA believes in transparency, fairness, credibility, sector participation, emiratization, creativity, and awareness. . Who regulates the Internet in Australia? In Australia the internet is regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the internet, for monitoring online content, including internet and mobile phone content, radio communications and telecommunications, and enforcing Australia’s anti-spam law. ACMA is responsible for promoting self-regulation and competition in the communications industry, while protecting consumers and other users, fostering an environment in which electronic media respect community standards and respond to audience and user needs, managing access to the radiofrequency spectrum, representing Australia’s
communications interests internationally. Its role includes investigating complaints about online content and gambling services, encouraging the development of codes of practice for the online content service provider industries as well as registering, and monitoring compliance with such codes, providing advice and information to the community about online safety issues, especially those relating to children's use of the internet, undertaking research into internet usage issues and informing itself and the Minister of relevant trends. ACMA also plays an important role in e-security in Australia by gathering evidence and assisting in protecting Australians from computer fraud and identity theft. Define Cyber Crime: Cyber crime is defined as a crime committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a victim. It is a broad term that is used to describe everything from electronic cracking to denial of service attacks. What are the different kinds of Cyber Crime? Spam Spam can be described as unsolicited sending of bulk email for commercial purposes which leads to crashing an individual’s email account. Fraud Computer fraud is the false representation of facts that intends to make someone do or refrain from doing something that causes loss. This includes altering computer input in an unauthorized way, changing, destroying, suppressing, or stealing output, usually to cover illegal activities, altering or deleting stored data, varying or writing codes for fraudulent purposes. Other forms of fraud using computer systems include bank fraud, identity theft, extortion, and theft of classified information Obscene or offensive content People may post content on websites or other forms of electronic communications that may be distasteful, obscene or offensive for a variety of reasons. Harassment Harassment directs at obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing on matters regarding race, nationality, gender sexual orientation, and religion. This kind of harassment usually occurs in chat room or via emails. Harassment usually includes cyber bullying and cyber stalking. Drug trafficking With the help of encrypted emails and other internet technologies to sell their illegal substances, drug traffickers are taking advantage of the internet.
They finalize deals at internet cafes, swap recipes for amphetamines in restricted access chat rooms, and use courier websites to transport illegal packages of pills. Cyber terrorism Cyber terrorism can be defined as an act of terrorism that is committed by the use of the internet or other computer resources.
Cyber Criminals: Children and adolescents between the age group of 6– 18 years. The simple reason for this kind of behaviour pattern in children is mostly due to the inquisitiveness to know and explore things. Organised hackers These kinds of hackers are mostly organised together to fulfil certain objective. The reason may be to fulfil their political bias, fundamentalism etc. Professional hackers / crackers These kinds of hackers are mostly employed to hack the site of the rivals and get credible, reliable and valuable information. They may even be employed to crack the system of the employer basically as a measure to make it safer by detecting the loopholes. Discontented employees This group includes those people who have been either sacked by their employer or are dissatisfied with their employer. As a means to take revenge they normally hack the system of their employee.
Penalties for such Cyber Crimes: In UAE Article No.2 of Law No.2 of 2006 considers any intentional act resulting in abolishing, destroying or revealing secrets or republishing personal or official information, as a crime. It says anyone convicted of logging onto information website or system shall be punished with jail term, or fine, or both. If the act resulted in abolishing, destroying, or revealing, changing or republishing information, he/she shall be sentenced to no less than six months in jail and be fined, or both. If such information are personal, a
fine of not less than Dh10, 000 shall be imposed, and a jail term of not less than one year shall be handed out to the convict, or both punishments. Article No.6 says anyone convicted of inserting certain information via the internet or using any IT or electronic mean for the purpose of stopping or breaking down, or destroying, deleting or amending programmes and information, shall be either jailed or fined, or both. Article No.7 says anyone convicted of using the internet or any electronic or IT means for changing or destroying medical tests or medical diagnosis, or medical treatment or healthcare, or even assisted others to do it, shall be temporarily jailed or fined.
In Australia: 477.2 Unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment 477.3 Unauthorised impairment of electronic communication 478.1 Unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data 478.3 Possession or control of data with intent to commit a computer offence (These are a part of the Cybercrime Bill of 2001) The penalties are fines, imprisonment or both. INTERNET USAGE: Internet usage is filtered both in UAE and Australia depending on their respective morals and policies. In UAE, this filtering is done by the TRA. UAE has one of the world’s best internet filtering system and is tested by universities like Harvard etc. because of its rapid ability to filter sites in just moments. It is also one of the most difficult proxies to bypass as it rapidly keeps blocking connections to servers allowing the bypass of the UAE proxy server. Following is a list of the content deemed inappropriate according to the UAE laws. 1) Internet Content for Bypassing Blocked Content 2) Internet Content for Learning Criminal Skills 3) Dating Internet Content excluding chatting services, chatting groups, social networking and forums. 4) Internet Content for Illegal Drugs 5) Internet Content containing Pornography and Nudity 6) Gambling Internet Content : This category includes Internet Content that is relevant to gambling or such as gambling links, tips, sports picks, lottery results, as well as horse, car or boat racing. NOTE: It would be interesting to note that although Horse racing is classified as a form of gambling and blocked by the UAE government, Dubai is host to one of the
most expensive horse racing tournaments in the world with many teams owned by the royal families themselves.
7) Internet Content for Hacking and Malicious Codes except for: Information
security including ethical hacking. 8) Internet Content that are offensive to Religions 9) Phishing Internet Content 10) Internet Content that downloads Spyware. 11) Internet Content providing Unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service 12) Terrorism Internet Content 13) Prohibited Top Level Domain (TLD) In Australia, the internet filter is governed upon by the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, under which the sites with the following online content are prohibited:
Content that has been classified by the Classification Board as o RC(Refused Classification) or o X 18+(non violent sexually explicit material depicting consenting adults). Content which has been classified as R 18+(unsuitable for minors) and can be accessed by children. Content which has been classified as MA 15+, provided by a mobile premium service or a service that provides audio or video content upon payment of a fee which can be easily accessed by the general public.
This shows that Australia’s main motive is to block adult content only from children and give the general public complete freedom of choice. VoIP VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using the internet instead of a regular phone line. In UAE, the law stated by the TRA is : - (5.1) All VoIP calls shall only be both originated and terminated within the United Arab Emirates. - (5.2) All VoIP Services that use the Public Internet are prohibited. This includes but not limited to the services or software or hardware that uses the Public Internet as a mean of communication. In other words, the law prohibits the use of “VoIP Services” where:
VoIP handsets are used that connect to the public internet Internet VoIP services like Skype are used which also use the public internet.
The only exception to the general prohibition i.e. VoIP Services are permitted where:
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the VoIP Services are provided by Etisalat or Du (the licensed telecommunications providers in the UAE); An entity’s Private Network entirely provides the VoIP services; and All above mentioned VoIP calls are local i.e. originate and terminate inside the UAE.
Penalties for the violation of the VoIP law in UAE: Even though the TRA’s Policy has not specified the penalties applicable to an entity who has unlawfully used VoIP Services, it has given a wide collection of penalties that may be imposed on the accused for “unlawfully using Telecommunications Services without authorisation”. These penalties include imprisonment for up to two years, fines of between AED 50,000 and AED 200,000, and confiscation and possible destruction of any equipment used in breaching the Telecom Law. In Australia, providers of VoIP services are considered to be Carriage Service Providers (CSP). CSPs are governed over by the Telecommunications Act 1997, the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999, and related legislation, legislative instruments and standards. These include :
• • • • • • • • •
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme Membership Free access to emergency numbers (000) The Numbering Plan – Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 Number portability IPND Notification Privacy of customer information Conformance to Industry Codes and Standards Calling line identification Public interest obligations including: o Law Enforcement (interception and national interests) o Defence and natural disaster assistance
Thus, the Australian law is very lenient and VoIP is allowed over the public internet. Penalties levied on violation in Australia: ACMA levies fines on those who breach the Acts. Fines can go up to $1.1 million per day with added jail-time. There are also cases where the accused have to pay compensation to their victims. The reason to include VoIP with great detail was that UAE is one of the very few countries in the world which posts such a stern ban on VoIP services and should definitely be compared with that of Australia.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Intellectual property over the internet consists of Copyrights and Patents. Copyright What is Copyright? It is a form of intellectual property for which the maker or the creator has exclusive rights over the property for a limited amount of time related to its work which includes publication, distribution and adaptation. After being used, the material is said to be in the public domain. Copyright is applied to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive or important and discrete. Some authorities also recognise "moral rights" of the creator of a work, such as the right to be credited for the work. The Internet and Copyright: The Internet is a wide-open source for information, entertainment, and communication. Sometimes people looking for information for research or to obtain information cross over a hidden line because they believe that everything and anything can be done in cyberspace. Without the knowledge of the laws that govern the cyber world, the internet users unknowingly break them. There have been many rumours that that copyright laws do not apply to the internet, but that is not true. The people believe that if a material has no copyright notice, is not copyrighted. The format for a copyright notice is like this: "Copyright or © (date) by (author/owner)" Users think that if this notice is not there, they can use the material in any way they want. The fact is that the owner’s work is automatically copyrighted by the owner or inventor whether it has a notice or not. Majority of the countries follow the rules and laws set by The Berne Copyright Convention. One of these laws stated that everything created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted. Hence, all Internet users must presume that the material is copyrighted, unless otherwise stated by the author or creator. Copyright laws : UAE: The first Copyright Law of 1992 was enforced on 1st September 1994 and enforcement has continued ever since. The United Arab Emirates has its own Ministry of Information and Culture which provides intellectual property copyright to any innovative literary, scientific or artistic work. These works are then filed at authorities in the Ministry, and are used as reference later if needed. Not filing a work by the creator does not lead to any violations of the copyright law. Only the author has the right to amend or change any of his works in whichever way
he deems them to be fit. The copyright lasts for 25 years from the year of the author’s death.
Australia: Copyright protection in Australia is provided under the Copyright Act 1968 and it gives exclusive rights to license others in regard to copying the work, performing it in public, broadcasting it, publishing it and making an adaptation of the work. These rights then differ according to the nature and importance of the material or work. Making copies of copyrighted work is illegal, but a certain amount of copying is allowed by the Australian law. Also the law does not protect the creator against creation of similar work by another individual. The duration of the copyright varies from the nature of the work. Copyright for the material generally lasts 70 years from the year of the author's death or from the year of first publication after the author's death. Breaching copyright laws : PIRACY: Unauthorized copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or modification of electronic media on the internet is often referred to as piracy. Piracy is a day-light robbery and mainly takes place in software’s. Software piracy is defined as the unauthorized copying or allocation of copyrighted software. When an individual buys software, he has a legal license to make use of the software, but not install it or copy it more than the number of times specified by the license. By doing this, he is committing piracy. Digital Piracy: Digital piracy is the illegal repetition and distribution of copyrighted content through electronic means. This type of piracy is largely committed in P2P (Peer-ToPeer) networks, because they host copyright protected audio, video and picture files on web servers. This data is also uploaded to video sharing sites and is distributed illegally through e-mail or instant messaging. Canada is the only country which protects it users against P2P Copyright Claims. Internet Piracy: Internet Piracy occurs when the software is unlawfully downloaded from the Internet. New media files are available on the internet websites as soon as they come in the market, and users downloading the file are doing it against the law and are unintentionally becoming cyber-pirates. Pirate Websites are those which offer counterfeit, duplicate, used or infected software, also networks like P2P that allow transfer of copyrighted materials are also illegal
because it hosts works created by someone else, and this is then downloaded by other web-users, making them fall in the trap of piracy. Effects of Piracy: Pirated software and media files lead to consumers, software developers, and resellers getting harmed. These people run the risk of infecting their computer with viruses from these counterfeit software’s leading to hard disks getting corrupted and important data being lost. The pirated software does not come with appropriate documentation, so the user cannot enjoy full benefits of the software package, and he is not able to take advantage of technical support and software upgrades and bug fixes. These benefits are only enjoyed by customers who have legally and legitimately bought their software. When software is pirated, developers run into a lot of loss as counterfeit copies of their works are easily available for a cheaper price in the market. Software developing companies look to regain their revenue by selling their software, but if most of it is pirated and widely sold over the internet, this leads to the company going under major loss which cripples the research and development of improved software. Also due to the lack of sale in products, the developers lose revenue which hinders development of new software and stifles the growth of the software company. How to Avoid Piracy ? Software should always be brought from a reliable and certified online seller. It should be ensured that all new software comes with a license agreement. An online receipt should be kept for future use. There are many anti-piracy campaigns all over the world and there are several organizations combating this crime in attempt to prevent and protect copyrighted material from counterfeiting and other violations. It includes the combined efforts of the RIAA and MPAA, law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Interpol, and various world governments to combat copyright infringement relating to various types of digital media and software. Penalties: UAE: A person or organization which publishes a work not owned by them without getting a legal permission from the original creator’s of the work, will be punished under Article 38 of the law which states that the person will be punished with imprisonment and with a fine of not less than (50000) Fifty Thousand Dirham’s, or with either both penalties. The person, who claims, contrary to the truth, that he is the owner of a work, shall be punished with the same penalty. Any person who amends the subject or the nature or the title of the material is subject to be punished with imprisonment and with a fine not less than (10000) Ten Thousand Dirham’s or by either of these penalties. Copying, printing or publishing these works leads to the same penalties. If a store is selling or distributing the works without a written consent from its author then it’s a violation and the violator will be punished with imprisonment or with a fine not less than (50000) Fifty Thousand Dirham’s, or with either of these penalties.(Article 42) Australia:
Changes were implemented to the Copyright Act in 2004 as part of the implementation of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). Due to this agreement, its strictly forbidden be copying and pirating software within use in businesses or just to gain commercial advantage, such an act would face penalties ranging from maximum fines and imprisonment. A person infringing on copyright protected work can be sued by the copyright owner and taken to court. A court can order a range of things, including that the infringer pay compensation and pay the copyright owner's costs. In some cases, a person who infringes copyright can be charged by the police, and can be ordered to pay a fine or, in serious cases, jailed. Case: In September 2005 Wilcox J delivered a comprehensive judgment in Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v Sharman License Holdings Ltd  FCA 1242 involving the peer-to-peer file sharing system known as Kazaa. The applicants made claims of copy right infringement, contravention of the Trade Practices Act and conspiracy. Wilcox J held that the evidence did not support either the Trade Practices Act or conspiracy claims.
E-Commerce: As the name suggests, this section deals with the issues regarding online business transactions. When we are entering an online transaction, we are not in physical contact with the opposite party, so there is no tangible proof for their authenticity. In a real life situation, a transaction would require handwritten signatures of the parties. Similarly in the digital realm, each site has their own electronic signatures, which a proof of the parties existence and provides assurance. These electronic signatures are recognized by countries globally. As our scope of research is limited only to UAE & Australia; we have: In UAE, The electronic signatures are regulated by Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 on Electronic Commerce and Transactions (the "Act") was published in the Official Gazette of the United Arab Emirates, Volume 442, 36th year, Muharam 1427 H/January. The key objectives of the TRA are to license, monitor, approve, and oversee the activities of Certification Service Providers and to continue providing strategic advice to current and new stakeholders who choose to conduct business online In Australia, The Commonwealth Electronic Transactions Act 1999 was formed for the support and encouragement of e-commerce in Australia. It contains rules applying to the interpretation of other legislation. Basically, it states that a transaction under a law of the Commonwealth will not be invalid simply because it was conducted by the use of electronic communications.