Brit fights Middle East hacking accusations

Computer network engineer Lee Ashurst denies hacking into UAE telecoms system

A British man is fighting the national telecommunications company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which he says wrongly accuses him of hacking into the its Internet system, according to reports from Associated France-Presse.

Twenty one-year-old Lee Ashurst has filed a lawsuit against telecommunications company Etisalat for alleged defamation. He plans to build a Web site to promote his cause.

Etisalat, which is the sole ISP in the UAE, last month alleged that Ashurst hacked into its network.

Ashurst was arrested and charged with contravening an Emirates law concerning misuse of Etisalat equipment and services. He will appear in court on 9 July. He claims the allegations have lost him his job as a computer network engineer in the UAE.

Following Ashurst's arrest, Dubai attorney general Ibrahim al-Mulla criticised the lack of sufficient legislation on computer crime in the Emirates telling Gulf News: "It has become urgent to issue legislation which classifies high technology crimes and stipulates penalties for them."

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