Dubai’s Islamic Affairs department has clarified that using someone else’s WiFi without their knowledge is illegal in the UAE.

Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department has declared “a modern fatwa” that prohibits the use of illegal WiFi.

A fatwa is an Islamic rule of law, and considering the UAE is under sharia law, they are something all people in the UAE must follow. With technology and society moving at such a pace, new fatwas are often established to regulate new developments in society.

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The fact using someone else’s WiFi secretly is prohibited was clarified when a user asked a question on the Islamic Affairs department’s website whether it was okay to use other people’s WiFi without their knowledge.

The department’s response was clear on the ‘modern fatwa’ section of the website: “It is not allowed for people to use what belongs to others without payment or without their permission. Therefore, the Internet should be used only after subscribing for the service.”

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They went on to explain the jumping onto someone else’s WiFi can reduce someone’s internet speed, therefore affecting the service they are rightfully paying for.

This doesn’t prohibit the use of open WiFi that is designed to be used by the public.