[ISN] Briton guilty of Dubai hacking

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 23:21:38 PDT

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    By Julia Wheeler in Dubai 
    Sunday, 1 July, 2001
    A British man has been found guilty of hacking into the United Arab
    Emirates' state internet system and fined $2,700 (1,900).
    Lee Ashurst, 22, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was found not guilty
    of the related charge of opening other people's e-mail, but he still
    faces a separate civil case.
    The monopoly internet provider in the UAE, Etisalat, had accused Lee
    Ashurst of hacking into its system from his laptop computer and
    causing widespread problems.
    There is currently no law against hacking in the UAE but Ashurst was
    charged with the misuse of telecommunications equipment.
    His arrest last June came after considerable public criticism of
    Etisalat's internet services and the company alleged Ashurst was the
    source of the extensive disruption.
    Defence lawyers maintain their client was used as a scapegoat and are
    planning to appeal against the verdict.
    The case is also being transferred to the civil courts where Etisalat
    plans to sue Ashurst for lost revenue during the time the server was
    If it is successful, the resulting damages could run into thousands of
    The UAE is currently rushing through legislation against hacking as a
    result of the problems this case has highlighted.
    The case has been embarrassing for the UAE, especially as Dubai has
    been trying to position itself as the internet hub of the Middle East.
    It has also given ammunition to local critics of the state's monopoly
    on telecommunications.
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