The Periscope reporter
* Can you transfer pictures, chats from your spouse’s phone to yours – on suspension of cheating – to show to your siblings?
* Can you send your spouse to jail, even for few hours – for scrawling through your phone without permit?
* Does Nigeria have strict cybercrime laws protecting the privacy of individuals online?
A court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jailed a woman for three months for looking through her husband’s phone without him knowing.
The woman’s husband filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of violating his privacy, and she was put on trial.
A court in Ras Al Khaimah – the northernmost Emirate of the United Arab Emirates and known for its Arabian Gulf beaches – found her guilty.
In his statement made against her, the man said his wife went through his phone and copied all the data to another device in order to search through the information at a later date.
The woman’s husband filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of violating his privacy, and she was put on trial before being jailed for three months.
The husband made the complaint after his wife was said to have scrolled through his phone contents while he was asleep.
She was said to have then transferred pictures and chats to her phone to show her siblings.
She claimed her husband had given her his password and allowed her to look at his phone since she had caught him chatting with other women before.
The UAE’s has strict cybercrime laws, especially when it comes to protecting the privacy of individuals online.
Some on Twitter defended the wife, with one poster added: ‘If she wasn’t suspicious over something, she wouldn’t have gone through his phone. Isn’t it shameful for him to jail his own wife?’
But others said she deserved to be jailed, with one saying: “She deserves this. No one told her to go through his phone”.
Speaking to Emarat Al Youm, lawyers Raed Al Awlaki and Mohammad Jad Al Mawla explained that under the country’s laws, it is illegal to go through anyone’s phone without their permission.
Even in married couples it is still an offence for either husband or wife to search each other’s phone, even if one suspects their spouse of cheating.
It is also considered a violation of an adult’s personal online privacy if any of their information is looked at in secret by a partner, friend, relative, parent or work colleague.
According to Golly Geoffrey, a social commentator, “it’s that wouldn’t happen in Nigeria without filing for divorce.
“By the bride price, a wife is conditioned to be a property of her husband, who has the right to have other women in polygamous terms, she must be submissive, and should dare poke nose into her husband’s phone rather secretly.
“The husbands has the right to his spouse’s phone on the suspension of cheating because we don’t practice polyandry.
“The option of filing a lawsuit against spouse, on allegation of violating privacy, is simply divorce for lack of trust”.