Electronic cheats face tough laws.
PEOPLE who provide false information while conducting electronic dealings with government organisations could be jailed for up to 10 years or face fines up to BD150,000.
Those who provide false information while dealing with private organisations or individuals will be fined up to BD100,000 or sentenced up to five years in jail.
The new punishments are part of major amendments presented by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani to the 2002 Electronic Dealings Law, which was unanimously approved by the Shura Council yesterday.
Under the amendments, people using electronic dealings will be obliged to get an eKey to avoid phishing, identity theft, and to monitor transactions and money laundering.
"In future, all government and commercial dealings will be done through a computerised system, and for that there is a need to provide a safe environment that would protect it from phishing, getting impersonated, monitor transactions and monitor money laundering," said Shura Council financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati.
"Electronic dealings will from now on have the same legal power as any official paperwork.
"It now means that those providing false information to get deals from the government or individuals will be seriously punished."
The Interior Ministry told the committee in an earlier meeting that the Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA), which comes under its umbrella, was working to improve its database while providing electronic security to all information presented or provided through services.
It said that the amendments were vital as they would help towards establishing a secure network that would ensure safety during usage and for stored information, while preventing electronic crimes.
The amendments were approved by parliament in February and will be referred to His Majesty King Hamad for ratification.
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