Oman: Spying on Spouse's Phone Can Lead You to Jail

Published November 19th, 2018 - 12:35 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

Spying on your spouse's phone is illegal, the Public Prosecution has reaffirmed in its publication, “Society and Law”.

The act is included in Oman’s cyber crime law, which came into effect in the year 2011, and punishes those who commit the crime with a prison sentence between one and six months, and includes a fine of OMR100-500. If the perpetrator modifies, destroys, or distributes the data within the information system (phone, computer, tablet, etc.), the punishment can increase, particularly if the data is sensitive in nature.

Originally, the law was written for when hackers attempt to access personal data. However, Salah Al Maqbali, lawyer and legal advisor, said in the publication, "It is known that a wife has her own personal and financial independence from her husband in which her own rights do not infringe on his, and so a husband searching his wife's phone is listed under Article 3 of the law."

Al Maqbali added that is also illegal for the wife to perform the same crime on her husband's phone.

The legal advisor also said, "Some would argue that it should be alright to monitor your behaviour, and here it bears mention that what might be perfectly acceptable in a consenting relationship becomes a crime when it is done behind your partner’s back. Furthermore, such an act speaks about the nature of the relationship in question."

While such a case has not yet been recorded in Oman, Al Maqbali quoted a precedent in a neighbouring country. In that case, an Arab National in the neighbouring country searched her husband’s phone without his permission. The husband complained to the authorities, which investigated the incident and imprisoned the wife for three months, fined her the equivalent of OMR150, and deported her from the country.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Muscat Media Group

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