British Hacker to Go on Trial in UAE
A court of first instance in the United Arab Emirates is to look into the case of a young Briton accused of hacking the state-run Etisalat system and causing havoc on one of its servers, according to sources who requested anonymity.
Etisalat is the UAE's only Internet Service Provider. Lee Ashurst, 21, British computer programmer, is charged with misusing telecommunications equipment owned by UAE authorities.
Ashurst is accused of hacking Etisalat and causing the network to crash for several long periods. He could face six months in jail and a fine of up to 10,000 durham ($2,700), the sources said.
Local critics have seized on the opportunity of Etisalat's difficulties to protest against the state monopoly over telecommunications. They told Albawaba.com that this case shows that the Internet system in the UAE is not secure.
Ashurst has filed a defamation suit in Dubai against the state-run company, asking Etisalat to hand over copies of its records for the period it alleges sabotage took place. His lawyer said he wanted to nominate experts to examine the data and records.
The 1991 law under which Ashurst is charged was enacted before the Internet was widely available and it was designed mainly to curb harassment on the telephone.
The Critics, who asked to remain unnamed, say laws in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf are not updated to keep pace with progress in technology. They would like to see an electronics police unit handle such investigations – Albawaba.com
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