- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) - A senior Dubai cyber-crimes investigator says authorities are now conducting round-the-clock monitoring of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The stepped up web watching in the United Arab Emirates comes amid rising crackdowns on alleged political dissent, including recent arrests of activists for Internet postings deemed challenges to the country’s rulers.

Maj. Salem Obaid Salmeen, Dubai’s deputy director of anti-electronic crimes, was quoted Wednesday by the news website Emirates 24/7 as saying social media sites are considered “public spaces” and the country’s laws apply.

The UAE does not permit political parties and open protests for reforms can bring arrests.

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