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Indeed, the UAE is ranked 23rd in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Networked Readiness Index. While remaining open to receiving large amounts of foreign investment and expatriate workers, the government has actively fought to deter political discussions, demands for reforms, and criticism of public officials online.
The first reported instance of law enforcement bodies targeting ICT use for political motives occurred in July 2010, when an 18-year-old named Badr al-Dhohri was held in Abu Dhabi for using his Blackberry to pass along a message that called for a protest against increases to the price of gasoline.
An official from the Department of Cybercrime at Dubai Police said the police received 81 complaints in 2013 and registered 59 cases.
The figure went up in 2014 with 212 complaints received and 73 cases registered. In extension of its “My Number, My Identity” campaign launched back in June 2012, the TRA called on users to “reregister their SIM cards before documents expire” to avoid cancellations.
 Between 20, dozens have been detained for their political discussions on online forums and social media.
The ITU’s Measuring the Information Society (MIS) 2014 report ranked the UAE 32 While the use of broadband is widespread, prices are extraordinarily high; the UAE has one of the most expensive broadband rates in the world, with high-end subscriptions costing more than AED 8,000 (US,178) a year.UAE schools are now among the top 25 worldwide for online connectivity.There are now 123 smart-learning schools, compared with only 14 in 2012.Providers fall under the laws and regulations set by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The authority was established in 2003 and is responsible for the management of “every aspect of the telecommunications and information technology industries in the UAE.” Its objectives include ensuring quality of service and adherence to terms of licenses by licensees, encouraging telecommunications and IT services within the UAE, resolving disputes between the licensed operators, establishing and implementing a regulatory and policy framework, and promoting new technologies. In March 2015, the TRA and Dubai police launched the campaign “Digital Blackmail” calling on users to report incidents of cybercrime and blackmailing, which are punished with ten years in jail.
The Authority said the move was “the result of studies that suggested an increase in civil and criminal cases related to the misuse of SIM cards.” Online censorship has increased in the UAE following the Arab uprisings of 2011 as authorities blocked numerous websites and web forums where users openly call for political reforms or criticize the government.