Online censorship: UAE police shut down Facebook and Twitter accounts
Major Saeed Al Hajeri, Head of the Electronic Crimes Department at Dubai Police, said: “We are not monitoring people on social networks but our electronic police patrols surf various websites to protect UAE citizens and residents against electronic crimes, which have increased worldwide recently.”
He said facebook and Twitter had agreed to Dubai Police’s request to shut three accounts last week. The Twitter and facebook accounts were shut down for containing abusive or threatening material, police said
The force had sent letters to the management of the social networking sites that included evidence account holders had committed acts violating UAE laws, including personal insults. “Many people think they cannot get into trouble for doing such things on the internet but they can be punished under UAE law,” he said.
He continued: “We respect people’s privacy and do not track their life on social networks. “We only take action when someone makes a complaint. “One major case involved hackers who broke into girls’ accounts and emails and downloaded their pictures.
“They then used them to blackmail them for money or sexual favours.”