If you travel internationally frequently you’ve likely used a VPN (virtual private network) as a way of accessing websites or apps that may be blocked in certain countries. For example, in China using a VPN is basically a must if you want to access any Google-based websites. Since I’m in China, I’m using a VPN as we speak.
While I imagine many governments don’t like people using VPNs, they rarely do anything about it. While we don’t know if it will be enforced in practice, the UAE has just enacted one of the strictest laws we’ve seen on VPN use. Per the International Business Times:
“The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a series of new federal laws relating to IT crimes, including a regulation that forbids anyone in the UAE from making use of virtual private networks (VPN) to secure their web traffic from prying eyes.
The new law states that anyone who uses a VPN or proxy server can be imprisoned and fined between Dh500,000-Dh2,000,000 ($136,000-$545,000, £415,000, €495,000) if they are found to use VPNs fraudulently.”