The ongoing and rapid evolution of the information and communication technology (ICT) has brought many benefits and positive points to all the aspects of our human, social, economic, cultural and information-related life, particularly that the methods of conveying and exchanging information around the world have become faster, easier and more effective than ever. At the same time, however, these methods included gaps and negative points, which some people were able to use for gaining illegal access and causing harm and higher rates of vandalism or even theft. As a result, terms like “cyber crimes”, “information technology crimes”, “electronic piracy”, “cyber espionage” and others came into existence. These terms were actually classified and legislation and laws were enacted to deal with cyber crimes including threats, extortion and penetration of bank accounts and corporate systems in addition to spying on individuals and businesses, accessing protected security sites, sabotaging websites etc.
In this context, the 5th International Cyber Crimes Conference was held and recently concluded in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. The conference underlined the UAE’s growing interest in and keenness on achieving cyber security, particularly in light of the UAE’s rapid development in all the economic, commercial, administrative, education and health fields, depending on the world’s latest technology and means of communication. The UAE actually made great strides in this field, a recent one of which was its successful bid to host the World Expo 2020.
The conference showed that the UAE was one of the top countries that rushed to develop legislative frameworks to deal with all kinds of cyber crimes through issuing the federal law no. 2 for 2006 for combating IT crimes and replacing it by a more sophisticated law in 2012, while continuously developing the work of the police concerned with preventing and combating technological crimes, which contributed effectively to confronting them. This comes at a time studies indicate that cyber crimes have topped the list of the crimes developed in the UAE and are on the rise annually due to the increasing reliance on modern technologies in the majority of transactions, particularly the financial and commercial ones.
The multiple and diverse UAE entities which organized the conference; namely, the Ministry of Interior and Institute of Training and Judicial Studies in co-operation and co-ordination with the Ministry of Justice, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the National Electronic Security Authority show the importance for the entities concerned to combine efforts to develop an integrated strategy to confront IT crimes and translate the recommendations of the conference into concrete results with the aim of ensuring the best electronic security in the UAE.
Bearing in mind the multiple entities concerned with cyber crimes, the Ministry of Interior, led by His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, plays a key role in confronting these crimes by focusing on the preventive aspect and consolidating security, stability and public safety among citizens and residents in implementation of the UAE Vision 2021, which is in line with Abu Dhabi Government Vision 2030 aimed at applying the concepts of e-government.
In addition to the above, the 5th International Cyber Crimes Conference coincides with the International Conference for Security and National Resilience “ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014”, which saw the participation of national and global companies specialized in manufacturing security equipment and devices and safety and resilience devices, thus ensuring the integration of security in all its forms and levels.