high-speed-internetThere are many people out there who use VPNs not for nefarious reasons, but for simple and innocent reasons, like maybe to access websites that are being blocked by the government, or accessing content that might be geo-restricted, and so on. However it seems that over in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), using a VPN could land you in jail, and be slapped with a hefty fine.

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According to a royal edict from the President of the UAE, they have made some changes to the law which now reads, “Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dhs 500,000 and not exceeding Dhs 2,000,000, or either of these two penalties.”

In case you’re wondering, that equates to about $136,130 and $544,521 after conversion, which are obviously some rather stiff and harsh penalties. So if you have plans to visit the UAE for business or pleasure, and have typically relied on VPNs, maybe it’s a good idea to disable them during your stay in the country, lest you find yourself in jail or hit with a very, very expensive fine.

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