Many of government and private entities in different domains are not worried much about topics such as information security and cyber crime. This might be because of the fear workers and supervisors in this field feel when they think of hackers and those who might threaten, destroy or manipulate data and secrets inside their fortresses.
This fear seems logical in light of hundreds of incidents that happen every day around the world where hackers behind computer screen reach anywhere in the world. Authorities and entities in different domains remain in a race to face these challenges. It is a never ending battle as long as its field is the spacious cyberspace that is open to all human beings.
It is no doubt that cyber crimes have become a reality of undesirable repercussions from personal moral and social damage and its destruction of societal trust among people, to destabilization of security and stability up to the threat to economies of large enterprises or even countries and the effect of that on the global economy. There is a direct relation between development in the computer field and the increasing numbers of cyber crimes.
Cyber crimes vary between physical crimes such as stealing ATM machines to email messages asking for help in releasing money confiscated in foreign countries with a promise of a percentage from the amount, to messages telling the email account holders that they have won prizes and asking for their bank account details. Another type has a cultural side where the criminal steals the intellectual property rights and ascribes them to himself without the victim’s consent. These crimes are added to the political, economic and sexual crimes that spread extremism and looseness across the World Wide Web.
It is no doubt that the technological advancements in the UAE have affirmed the need to set laws to combat these crimes and safeguard against the manipulation of privacies or taking advantages of others’ physical or intellectual rights.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued a federal law regarding the combat of cyber crimes including many articles which offer legal protection for the privacy of what is published on the World Wide Web.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of the Executive Council, issued a decision regarding information security in Dubai Government aiming at developing an integrated strategy and a unified policy for information security and its systems related to the local government of the emirate.
One of the efforts that in the same direction is the international conferences hosted by the UAE, which gather key figures in cyber protection worldwide to exchange views and study ways to develop mechanisms that achieve top levels of information security, including the expected Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference that will be held in Dubai from 3 – 5 June 2013. It will be the largest event, in this regard, in the region.
However, we must highlight an important factor related to this kind of crimes that is self-awareness and raising one’s personal carefulness when using the Internet and other modern technologies. We all should have a degree of security culture that is enough to limit the access for those who want to reach secrets or important data that will harm their owners. In many cases, this only requires paying attention when adding sensitive information, using a more complicated password, using anti-virus programs and encrypting the most sensitive files. We should also refrain from making important financial transactions through public networks because they’re easy to hack. Extra precaution should be given when we reveal our electronic identities and personal information which should be used on trusted websites only.
Noura Al Suwaidi
Published in “Al Bayan” Arabic Newspaper
The UAE in particular and the Arab Gulf Region in general are two of the fastest markets in terms of adoption of modern technologies, considering that the sophisticated electronic infrastructure in the UAE is one of the most important tools for enhancing its economic competitiveness worldwide. This evolution reflects an official interest in adopting the latest information and communication technologies towards upgrading government performance in an unprecedented manner, achieving co-operation among government and private entities and providing pioneering government services and other products via the different means of communication such as the Internet and mobile phone. Based on the prudent leadership’s awareness of the importance of the modern electronic technology, which is one of the most important features of change in the 21stcentury, and the associated media information flows that will play a role in forming the public and private natures of the region, the UAE government started the electronic transformation of government services in 2001 by the Ministry of Finance launching the e-Dirham as an alternative to the conventional method used for collecting fees for government services. Since then, the e-transformation process is going at a rapid pace at the level of both the federal ministries and authorities and the local authorities in each emirate.
The above is compatible with the UAE Vision 2021 and the federal e-government plan 2012-2014, which is partly aimed at improving the competitiveness of the UAE by adopting world-class practices in all e-government areas, while its mission stipulates the establishment of an “innovative eGovernment, committed to contributing towards enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE, and providing world-class multi-channel services that are based on customer needs and expectations through a coherent and efficient government; taking advantage of an advanced digital infrastructure and highly qualified human resources within a smart and intelligent framework of governance.”
It is no exaggeration to say the UAE has made great strides in using technology in the field of government work and this has motivated it to seek technological and organizational readiness and secure an environment that supports the spread of information and communication technology such as the current laws and regulations and the provision of trained, qualified and skillful human resources as well as businesses that support the building of a knowledge-based economy.
Perhaps the success of the Emirates Identity Authority in completing the UAE population register at the beginning of this year, registering all citizens and residents in the smart ID card project and owning the world’s largest database of integrated civil biometrics as per the World Record Academy is the best testament to the level of progress that the UAE has achieved in this area, particularly that this achievement will contribute actively to enhancing the national and individual security in the UAE, supporting strategic decision-making and developing our government services at the same time.
In addition, such mega-projects help the community take part in improving government services and decision-makers to know customers, views and preferences.
The outputs of this government interest include preparing an integrated plan to carry out the “mobile government” project, which is aimed at providing all the services offered by the federal authorities and organizations to customers via the different kinds of smart phones and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year for provision in 2014 in the light of the leadership’s directives to adopt the best international practices in the field of e-transformation.
From Akhbar Al Sa’ah bulletin issued by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research.
No one can deny, in theory, the importance of language and its role in maintaining the identity of the community as well as its heritage and civilized and humanitarian history. Talking about our Arabic language, the practical application of this vision remains a far-reaching dream in many cases, especially at the level of decision-makers and leaders.
What His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that "Our language is our identity, a symbol of our pride, our civilization and Arab and Islamic culture" urges everyone to shoulder their historical responsibility from the national and humanitarian perspectives and illuminates their way towards the empowerment of the national language because "to empower and to protect the Arabic language means we are protecting our identity, our history and our culture”, as confirmed by HH Sheikh Mohammed.
This is not a call from an ordinary intellectual, nor is it a wish of anyone who is concerned with the culture of his nation and the language of his faith. It is an attitude and an instruction from the top leadership positions and decision-making centers, making it live up to the level of a national strategy that must be followed and implemented.
The call is concurrent with the second International Conference on Arabic Language, which was held in Dubai over the past few days under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, who was keen on attending some sessions of the conference.
Language is wealth and a weapon of high effect in the battle of progress and civilized evolution in which languages and cultures compete in various ways to the extent of struggling sometimes. This made a leader as the former French President General de Gaulle says: “French language did what armies could not do.”
Competition among states and nations in this area is well-known and proven. Perhaps the most important successes achieved by the Israelis in implementing their Zionist projects lay in the fact that they paid special attention to Hebrew, though it had been an almost dead language for centuries and was spoken only by a few millions of Jews and not all Jews. They, however, worked hard to revive Hebrew and make it the language of learning and knowledge and the tongue of politics and practical life. The same applies to many other peoples such as the Japanese, Koreans and others, who look at their national languages as fortunes that they are keen to protect more than any other wealth they own.
Based on this, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid’s kind call came to put the Arabic language in the right place it deserves. The call will undoubtedly bear fruit for the achievement of the desired goals and objectives.
Al Bayan Newspaper
If I am to list the strategic projects that have been recently implemented in the UAE based on their importance, I will undoubtedly choose the national ID card as one of these projects because of the long-term plans for this project and the great benefit that will be reaped by everybody, whether UAE residents or government and private companies and agencies.
Finally and thanks to a data chip that contains all the important information about you, you will no longer have to feel extreme stress while you are visiting the municipality and carrying your family book for fear that this important document might be lost. Nor will you have to make sure that the document called "passport" is still valid in case of need to visit a bank to open a savings account for your son, for instance. It is a huge and significant project that allows me to be keen on carrying a single card in my wallet, because it will save me the trouble of carrying and keeping the rest of important documents. It is also a tool in the hands of the e-government to develop the work system and provide a better and easier service to the customers of some entities which is still managed with the mentality of the 1970s.
Yet, it is surprising that although five years have elapsed since this significant project was implemented, the ultimate goal of the project has not been achieved so far. More surprisingly, some government entities and affiliated companies are the last to support this vital project and seem as if they insist on signing out of tune for a mysterious reason that I do not know, while supporting and actually implementing this project should top their priorities for the simple reason of ensuring that the private sector will be committed to implement the project later on. We know of course that the private sector will not do this if this project has not been actually implemented by the government sector at both the federal and local levels.
I still carry my family book in all my visits to the municipality and still need my passport to renew my Thiqa health insurance card and obtain electricity services. I even need both my passport and ID card to get a resident parking permit in Abu Dhabi City! What is the logic behind all this? For how long will some entities keep away from playing their presumable role in supporting the UAE strategic projects?
Mohammed Al Marzouqi
Between the revolution of electronic technologies, irrespective of its data and outcomes,and the long experience of governments in economy and development of stable infrastructures, there is a varying relationship whose durability or fragility is judged by how these governments look at the importance of digital security or the security of space, which is wide open to all possibilities, intruders or players ofcountries’earnings and infrastructures, not to mention their economies, investments and rights of their individuals and citizens.
Based on this, the UAE was actually among the leading countries to put its electronic hallmark in this space and provide a unique form of digital safety, which is recognized by dedicated experts from all over the world, and is still developing safe technologies and racing against time to confirm its commanding lead in achieving compatibility between the technological revolution and stability in dealing, trading and transactions in addition to the security that every capital aspiring for investment is looking for.
TheUAE has the right to be proud of its leading achievements in this connection as evidenced by its recent step of registering all the UAE population in the population register and ID card project and possessing the world’s largest database of biometrics used to identify people through their unique characteristics that can neither be transferred to others nor be forgotten or stolen. These include fingerprints, palm of the hand, retina and iris in addition to some facial features. They also include personal behaviors such as signature, voice, key-clicking style and walking, each of which has its own qualities that are compatible with the requirements of the different security systems.
Add to this the use of the world’s latest smart ID card to safely enable e-transformation and e-economy by providing a secure, integrated and advanced system for managingthe personal ID in the UAE, thereby contributing to strengthening the elements of security and global competitiveness of the UAE.
This achievementin digital security has won great global acclaim of many experts in this sector due to its completion speed, accurate information and comprehensive coverage. Undoubtedly, this has supportedthe UAE infrastructure and strengthened the defense factors against any transgressions that may be committed by anyone in the space of electronic dealing.
Actually, the great efforts exerted by the Emirates Identity Authorityin this connection must be noted and commended. These efforts showed the UAE’s ongoing bid to consolidate the mainstays of safe digital economy by capitalizing on the advanced applications of technology within the smart ID management system. This has rendered the UAE one of the leading countries to activate the use of smart technology applications in the public and private sectors following its success in possessing the world’s largest database of civil integrated biometrics within its own registration system.
Everyone knows that digital security using the latest technology and data, has become an important factor in shaping and building the future of the new economy and also consolidating its mainstays. It also plays a role in promoting the national and individualsecurity, enforcinglaw and developing e-commerce transactions amidst warningsby many digital economyspecialists that the countries of the world will be susceptible to extensive cyber attacks targeting their national infrastructures over the coming 15 years, while their governments will face unlimited challenges to maintain theireconomic and social gains provided by the digital world which we live in today, as confirmed by Eng. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, Emirates ID Director General, during the digital security summit hosted by the UAE recently.
Based on these warnings, which must be taken into consideration and paid due attention, it seems incumbent on the national strategies to enhance the security of knowledge-based economy and e-commerce and to protect the digital network of these strategies from cyber threats, though this requires co-operation at allinternational, corporate and individual levels.
In this regard, the UAE had a leading and remarkableexperience in developing public services and supporting the development of digital economy through the ID management system and was able to provide high levels of security and reliability.
Noora Al Suwaidi
Al Bayan newspaper
Many people do not realize the importance of language in their lives, and do not realize the importance of preserving it, since it is the safety valve of the identity of any community. Most people also miss the truth that a language is saved and its continuity is ensured as far as its speakers save it and promote its existence.
The failure to recognize all these above-mentioned points concerning language was the cause of the extinction of many languages in the world, so that we lost any information about the people of those extinct languages, in addition to losing anything related to their cultures and traditions.
Every Arabic speaker is responsible for saving Arabic language; and the complacency in using and spreading it effectively is a sign of its extinction and thus the fading of our identity and culture.
Furthermore, the importance of language lies not only in its being a means for communication, but also its being the identity of its speakers and the proof of their existence.
This point of the language's importance is what UAE stresses, starting from the Constitution and through all circulars which emphasize the importance of using the standard Arabic as the official language that should not be replaced by any other language or dialect, even though this dialect is commonly used by people who live in UAE, for example. However, what is really happening now is that Arabic is no more disregarded by the young people of the new generation, though they are not to blame if they misuse Arabic, because of using English more in communication as they learnt it in the private schools.
On the other hand, Arabic nowadays has been being disregarded by some semi-official institutions and entities, while they are supposed to be careful with using the standard Arabic more than any other languages and dialects. These institutions should be the most entities to urge people to use the standard Arabic, such as the local newspapers and the visual media which use the local dialects excessively to the extent that Arabic has lost its prestige, because many have been so far from the standard Arabic, and without any effort to preserve its classical and standard forms.
We do not deny that TV satellite channels need sometimes to use the local dialect in commercials, but when it comes to the announcers, it is a must that they stick to the standard Arabic and ignore the vernacular tongue as much as possible. This is because these announcers are addressing peoples all over the world who may not understand our colloquial dialects; moreover, the standard Arabic is clearer than the other dialect forms.
The point that we are still wondering about is this: Is it a need for some newspapers to publish commercials for banking or non-banking institutions in the local dialect, even if they are addressing UAE locals only? There is no need to use the local dialect, for the commercials in the Arab newspapers are for all Arabs, so that the standard Arabic should be used to be understood by all audience.
The Classical Arabic bears within its implications great identity and culture not worth to be neglected and given up, especially nowadays for we need to preserve our identity, culture and language which is almost dying before us and by us. This should be realized by the institutions and entities that are supposed to be the first to preserve this language.
Maysa Rashid Ghadeer
Al Bayan Newspaper
A system strongly believes in teamwork and team spirit, and working hard to serve the nation, the locals and the residents, and obtain their satisfaction having smiles on their faces. A system which its Director General confesses any error might occur in the Authority, and he himself not only tackles this error, but also sends a telegram of apology coupled with a bouquet to those who are targets for that error.
A system that has committed itself to be at the forefront of entities and organizations which are keen to facilitate and simplify the procedures for any customer, taking into consideration the latest modern age technologies.
A system succeeded by willpower, determination, dedication and proper scientific planning, to defy obstacles and shorten the time needed for the completion of transactions from two weeks into ten minutes … A system succeeded to cooperate in this successful way with 180 governmental entities. Such a system deserves a high respect and deserves that we bow and raise our hats.
Surely, this success, as said by the Director General, is credited to the vision of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, who stressed the importance of customers and paying them a great attention. This statement was a spark of motivation of which the team drew its vision and goals. That vision has a great attention by His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Chairman of Emirates Identity Authority, so that it serves to promote and upgrade the national action system. This vision also receives the tireless follow-up of H.H. Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister, and Deputy Chairman of the Emirates Identity Authority.
Dr Engineer Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority, says that the words of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan are the light of vision that sought to be achieved.
In his interview with the media, Dr. Khouri revealed EIDA's strategic plan 2014 – 2016 referring to the launch of ID card renewal service via mobile phone and smart devices.
However, the most prominent event that should be commended is the development of the registration system via EIDA website through the new e-application form, after the success of the experimental phase. This new process lets the issuance of ID cards easily and conveniently through few steps taking less than ten minutes. EIDA also is considering extending the validity of the ID card for the locals to be more than five years.
So we can say that the achievements of the Emirates Identity Authority are numerous, and deserve praise and commendation, especially that it was able to register all locals and residents of UAE in a record time.
Many thanks, greetings and highly appreciation for the successful work carried out by the Emirates Identity Authority, Chairman of its Board of Directors, members of the Board, the Director General and the staff, and we hope that EIDA's work be a model for followed by all UAE entities and organizations.
"Al Gharbia" Weekly Newspaper
UAE people are known for patriotism and valor by instinct. These values were instilled in them since they were young children, whether at home or at school, to grow and make their way toward the light and hence gain more beauty and brightness.
The beginning was with the school morning assembly, where I was trying to do my best to sing the national anthem of my country as loud as possible, because I thought that the higher my voice was, the more this indicated the size of my love for my dear country.
After I joined the university, I had an increasing desire to attain the highest grades so that I would be able to pay part of the limitless favors back to my country. Following graduation, I was a persistent job-seeker but, much to my surprise, my job search continued for two years. I began to feel bored and doubtful, wondering if my mission was accomplished as soon as I received a university degree, if my role would be limited to practicing my everyday life and if my journey would come to an end here.
More obsessions were growing in my mind but disappeared only when I saw the sign of the “Emirates Identity Authorityand thought of applying for a job there. Thenews of my acceptance had a significant effect on me as it gave way to my seed of giving to continue its march towards a bright path where you can serve your country in the best way you can.
I am very proud that I belong to the Emirates Identity Authority, which achieved an Emiratization rate of 100 per cent as part of its excellence in all areas of contribution to the homeland.
Iman Ahmed Murshidi
Registration Administrator record
Fujairah Registration Center
The tribe is calling Antara to repel the aggression of those who have raided it, but Antara is leaning, smiling sometimes and chipping eyebrows sometimes while pressing his fingers quickly on BlackBerry Messenger screen and retorting "To hell with war and with headache". Laila, on the other hand, is waiting to see Qais, who lost his shoes tracing for her while his head was spinning dizzily in despair. He, however, is busy responding to fans with his poetic Tweets on Twitter and putting his photos at sunset outside the tents of his tribe Instagram.
I do not mean to joke inasmuch as I wish to refer to a new world that is being slowly formed around us while we are heedless of it. A quiet change eradicates reluctance smoothly. That era in which a father used to call his son and the son replies "yes, father'" on the spot has come to an end. Currently, a father needs to call dozens of times until he feels his blood is boiling, while his son is busy with his mobile and complainingly writes "BRB" to the one he is chatting with before reluctantly responding to his father.
His sister, meanwhile, is begging her mother to allow her to go out to buy something she needs badly, but instead she goes to Dubai Mall where she takes a photo of a cappuccino cup and a piece of cake, writes "Breakfast Time" on it before sending it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Path and her mobile. She only needs to paste the photo on her Abaya and Sheila to think that she has liberated Al Aqsa Mosque with this cappuccino!
We are witnessing the birth of a new family, which is quite different from the actual family. A person's family has become that group of people whom he is impatient to read their messages on blackberry Messenger or WhatsApp and talk with them even when he is under his blanket. They are the first to search for when he leaves a cinema where the majority of people outdoors are searching their mobile screens.
They are also the first to look for when he wakes up in the morning after heavily opening his eyes, which are stimulated only by a broadcast from somebody or a message from another. Nor can he sleep unless his mobile is placed close to his head; he sleeps, of course, after his head has spun dizzily as a result of the many tweets he has just read. They are those who bring pleasure to him, even as he eats with his family or watch TV with his actual family, and even during business meetings, where his fingers play the chat buttons under the table!
It is them who stir his inclinations and shape his orientations; if he finds them praising somebody, he will join them, and so will he when they slander another. He behaves so only because he does not want to be at odds with the group or presumable family. The personal orientations continue to be shaped until we discover suddenly that everybody likes to publish proverbs and poems on Twitter and to take photos of a cup of coffee, sunset and red roses set aside for romantic purposes on Instagram, signifying “be at ease with us, Romeo!
These figures of the means of social communication are appalling and can no longer be overlooked or believed that they are just sites and pass time. This is simply because they are driving the orientations of an entire generation in a calm but extremely effective manner. Through this slow movement that does not raise any suspicion, they create a world of a different intellectual nature, outstanding behaviors, an ideological system and a background of their own.
They most often form trans-border gatherings cross-border groupings, where orientations are handled and then marketed by the most experienced, eloquent and popular man for acceptance by many people, though there is no local justification for these orientations in his society, creed or homeland. It is actually a feeling of unwillingness to object for fear he might be rejected by these families, the number of followers might drop, or the number of those who like or re-tweet what is written in those sites will become less!
Twitter has 500 million subscribers who send 177 million tweets per day, while out of seven people on earth there is one subscriber to Facebook and these generate $1.5 billion every 3 months for the website, according to recent statistics. The visitors of YouTube, on the other hand, spend 326,000 years of browsing per month, at a daily rate of 2 billion views of those dissimilar and unrestrained content, particularly for the young generation, which is easy to be shaped and led. Nearly 10 million photos are daily uploaded on Instagram and wherever you go, you will find that establishing friendships is easier than ordering a Karak tea in an Indian restaurant!
The effects on the previous generations were mostly positive and were embodied in the parents, school, quarter friends who are well-monitored by parents and visual and audible media, which are strictly in line with the traditions and good taste, while the examples appreciated by the society and conveyed to the new generation are embodied in the Prophet (PBUH), nation's key figures and a great personality like Sheikh Zayed, may Allah have mercy upon him. In contrast, the effect of a family has immensely diminished, surrendering to Twitter and its companions. Tweets have now the most impressive effect and are all the rage for the new generation under the pretext of "be independent" and do not be the "son of papa and mama" and that of course in order to be the son of that cawer or delinquent. A glance at those examples who have the highest number of followers on Twitter will show that they combined "the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height". They are as follows: Justin Bieber (37 million followers), Lady Gaga (35 million) and Katy Perry (34 million).
I am not calling on people to be narrow because this not the solution, nor am I calling for ban because this is impossible. Yet, it is important to make a plan on a larger scale that brings a positive alternative or can minimize the negative impact of these media and direct them in such a manner that helps the new generation appreciate our values and privacy and somehow brings the focus back to the real family, where parents are hopefully required to look after their children instead of running after more business or wandering day and night in malls; at that hour, Antara may leave the Blackberry and come to rescue his tribe!
Awadh bin Hasoum Al Darmaki
Al Bayan newspaper
Science and knowledge are the most important weapon in our present time, and advanced nations and countries are keen on providing their citizens with science and knowledge in their bid to come in top places among their peers in the world. The UAE and its prudent leadership have paid most attention to science and knowledge by encouraging citizens to seek science, search for knowledge and continue to learn in order to attain the highest academic degrees in all fields.
The Emirates Identity Authority was inspired by the prudent leadership's vision in this connection; it believed in science and its role and worked hard to be in the lead and occupy a prestigious position among government organizations across the UAE. As a result, the Emirates ID turned into one of the most important authorities and organizations that supported and motivated their employees to obtain university degrees and complete their higher studies. For this purpose, the Emirates ID took a package of decisions, which made it easy for each employee interested in resuming education in all academic and knowledge fields and this helped most of the employees enrol in the UAE various institutes and universities.
This leading policy followed by the Emirates ID reflected positively on the performance of employees, who competed over obtaining high degrees as this would help the Emirates ID achieve its goals and accomplish its strategy.
The Emirates ID made a good initiative to the satisfaction of its employees by morally encouraging them to learn and providing financial incentives that would help them enrol in universities and institutes. This encouraged many of them to seize the opportunity and consequently many Emirates ID employees joined educational foundations to give a bright image of their organization, which believed in science as a pathway towards achieving more prosperity and progress, improving services and seeking excellence.
Motivating employees financially and morally to learn helped increase their job satisfaction and strengthened both their sense of affiliation to the Emirates ID and their feeling that they were working in an organization that valued its employees and spared no effort to give them the best. This, in turn, motivated them to provide the best services to customers.
I believe I am lucky because I am an employee of the Emirates ID, which motivated me to resume my study. By means of this article, I would like to thank the Higher Management of our esteemed authority for its constructive initiatives offered to the employees which confirm how keen it is on improving the status of its employees and supporting them to achieve their ambitions.
Al Dhaid Registration Center