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How expats can untangle themselves from tech laws

By March 16, 2017October 3rd,

How expats can untangle themselves from tech laws

March 16, 2017

If you’re an expat immigrating to a new country, you have a lot on your plate including familiarising yourself with the legal and financial laws in your new country. What might not be top of mind are your country’s tech laws, which have been created to protect residents and the wider Internet from the growing incidents of cyber crime.

The escalating rate of global cyber crime

Akamai’s 2016 State of the Internet Security Report demonstrates that Internet and web attacks are escalating both in number, severity and duration.

Juniper Research has also revealed that cyber crime is estimated to cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019 which is almost four times the estimated cost of the breaches in 2015. The research also reported that the majority of these breaches would come from existing IT and network infrastructure. The report also revealed that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 would exceed $150 million as more businesses infrastructure gets connected.

The most recent 2016 Cyber Attack Statistics from show the top motivations behind cyber attacks to be:

  • Cyber crime
  • Hacktivism
  • Cyber Espionage
  • Cyber Warfare


To help fight the increase every country has created new cyber laws which residents have to adhere to or they will face prosecution. Here are some countries where the laws are more restrictive than others and their aim is to control their residents’ access to global media:

Countries with restrictive cyber laws

  • UAE: Of all the countries mentioned in this blog post, the UAE has the most ‘relaxed’ cyber laws. Over 70% of the population can access the Internet, but heavy censorship of content takes place. Any website that has any type of sexual content or religious content (other than Islamic) is blocked. Common social media sites can be accessed but WhatsApp and Skype’s voice calling features are disabled.
  • Iran: In Iran, the government controls all forms of media and communication and the government is fiercely opposed to the Internet. They restrict the Internet speed and place filters at service provider level to control access and discourage residents from using it. More than half of the world’s websites and blogs are blocked, especially those that promote the rights of women. If you’re an expat in Iran, don’t expect to be browsing YouTube, Facebook or Twitter anytime soon!
  • North Korea: In North Korea, only 4% of the population can access the Internet and all the social networks and news sites feature limited local content. No one is allowed to blog or post any type of content online unless the government has approved it and all the common social sites are blocked.
  • Cuba: Personal computers were only legalised in Cuba in 2007 and it has extremely slow Internet speeds. Residents can only access the public internet via a service provider that is approved by the government and Internet access is restricted through the use of search filters, monitored browsing history and IP blocking
  • China: China has a police force of over 50 000 whose sole responsibility is to ensure their cyber laws are adhered to. China has one of the strongest Internet censorship laws in the world and the public has no access to foreign news channels or websites. If you’re an expat in China you’ll only be able to access locally developed sites and service providers are allowed to monitor your emails and block any websites not approved by the government.

If you’re an expat and need advice about your financial migration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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