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Residents in the UAE are permitted to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), but its misuse “is the problem,” said the country’s cybersecurity chief. “We have no problem with people using VPNs, but using it for bad things is the problem,” Muhammad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity at UAE Government, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of G[P]RC Summit. The UAE recorded the highest VPN application downloads in 2023 in the past four years, surpassing the pandemic year’s downloads of 6.09 million in 2020, according to the latest update of the Global VPN Adoption Index by Atlas VPN. Under the UAE Decree Law No (34) of 2021 concerning combating rumours and cybercrimes, the use of VPNs for illegal means, to commit a crime is a serious offence or to hide the IP address to get access to websites/calling applications /gaming applications which the UAE government blocks.