10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Any of these 10 online activities could land you in jail in some part of the world

Internet is an unrestricted realm for its users. It brings you latest information, allows you to share movies, images and music without any bounds, allows you to communicate in a split second and share files. It is a medium which is full of advantages, but there are some disadvantages that come with it in some countries. Particularly if you don’t follow certain rules and regulations laid down by these countries while using the Internet.

Cyber crimes and terrorist attacks have dramatically increased over the years and that may be one of the reasons that if one is seen violating rules of Internet, he/she may be put behind the bars.

So, see the below activities that can get you arrested in some parts of the world.

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

#1 Having An Open Wi-Fi

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Keeping your WiFi Open and not keeping it password protected can sometimes land you in prison. Your open Wi-Fi connection can be used by criminals or terrorists without your knowledge and this can land you in trouble with the law in almost any country.

This happened with a person name Barry Covert whose open WiFi was used by his neighbor to access child pornography websites. Though, police arrested his neighbour after investigations, Barry had to face the police questioning for a month before the correct person was arrested.

It is always better to password protect your Wi-Fi with WEP, WPA (WPA-Personal), and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2).

#2 Deleting Your Search History
10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Sometimes erasing your search history can also land you behind bars. This happened in United States, when a person namely David Kernell was arrested for deleting information on his computer. A University of Tennessee student, Kernell was being investigated by federal authorities for allegedly hacking Yahoo Account of the then vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

India to had brought about laws making it mandatory for users to save their browsing history for 3 months. But the same was scrapped after there was huge public outcry against it.

#3 Offensive Posts, Messages or Tweets

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Making offensive posts or tweets or sending offensive messages can land you in trouble in any part of the world. Two persons from Leigh Van Bryan aged 26 and Emily Bunting aged 24 tweeted about their upcoming visit to USA, “Free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America”.

They were interrogated for about five hours by the authorities. Bryan and Bunting tried to convince the police that “Destroying” was a British  slang for “Partying.”

#4 Using VOIP services

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

This issue is country specific and only limited to Ethiopia. Using VOIP services like Skype is strictly prohibited in Ethiopia and can land you in prison (An user from Ethiopia has contradicted this). The country’s new telecommunications law strictly prohibits VOIP services, which consist of audio and video communication and transfer of information over VOIP clients. We advise you that if you are citizen or tourist of Ethiopia, kindly check up with authorities before using Skype or any other VOIP services.

#5 Dancing in a Video

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

This is a serious offence in Iran. In fact, six persons were arrested for dancing to a video from Pharrell Williams song “Happy”. The Iranian judiciary found them guilty and they received 91 lashes as well as year’s prison sentence. Though later, the sentences were suspended and they were let off in six months.

In Russia, a youth was jailed in Russia for 15 days and two women were jailed for 10 days after they were found to be allegedly dancing and making a video near a second world war memorial.

#6 Leaving Internet Comments

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Syria is now a battlefield between different warring factions for control of territory. Even then, commenting on the Internet is a crime in Syria. Human Rights Watch reported that in 2007, Syrian authorities arrested two person and they were shifted to unknown place, apparently for offering their comments about the censorship laws in Syria on a website.

#7 Translating Articles

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested

Translating banned books can land you in jail in any country. Thailand authorities arrested an American citizen who translated one such article on his blog. The article was termed as “offensive to the autocracy” by the Thai authorities who consider their King as a supreme being. Even posting on Facebook/tweeting against the King can land you in jail in the Lese Majeste laws.

In Indonesia, a person was put behind bars for two years after he posted “God does not Exist” on “Facebook”.

#8 Gambling

Online gambling is banned in many countries across the globe and can land you behind the bars. This includes if you organize gambling or play online games like Poker, Blackjack etc.

#9 File Sharing

10 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested


File sharing is a contentious issue. In some countries you are free to share movies, images or files without the worry of the law but in many countries it is illegal to share what is considered as pirated content. In some places even downloading torrents is considered as being unlawful.

#10 Posting Lyrics on Facebook


This may have happened only once. Unites States authorities arrested rapper and school student, Cameron D’Ambrosio for posting rap lyrics on Facebook. The police allege that D’Ambrosio made terrorist threats under the garb of rap. Prosecutors sought to charge D’Ambrosio with threats to make a bomb or hijack a vehicle, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

There are many such laws which can put in a spot of bother while surfing online. Making racist comments or hurting religious sentiments is a strict taboo online like it is in the real world. If you know of any other such unknown laws exist in some country, kindly note them down in the comments section.

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  1. Hi; I’m from ETHIOPIA. I read this article really thanks. Every social media is banded in ethiopia.

    The new computer crime law is the latest legal mechanism set to be used to limit access to Internet services for the majority. The government is attempting to make blogging, content sharing, and even liking critical comments on social media all crimes.

    proclamation treats online expressions. Under Article 14, it states,
    “whosoever intentionally disseminates through a computer system any written, video, audio or any other picture that incites fear, violence, chaos or conflict among people shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three years.”

    • This is bullshit.Ethiopian government officials did what they have to do to protect citizens of Ethiopia. Because most of us(Ethiopians) don’t use Facebook and other social media’s properly. We are using this site’s to spread racist ideologies,to spread terrorism and to divide people by insulting one group(Nationalities).

  2. Hello Am MEda From Ethiopia i read your article about getting arrested of VOiP and it is not true.what’s happening here is not arresting someone who makes calls over VoiP but the goverment is trying to make an addition payment in addition to the used data payment occured on VOiP call by making agreement with the VoiP application developer like viber,skype and messenger type of application.and it is still an on going process. and no one is getting arrested because of VoiP calls.Ethiopian Government aint like the Saudi one’s or some other Middle East governments.

  3. hey dude come on their is no policy that not allows user to use VoIP I always use Viber,IMO,and skype but keep talking about Ethiopia and specially Ethiopian cyber crime

  4. #4 Using VOIP services
    This is outrageously false. Please crosscheck before you post anything. Ethiopia has never banned voip usage. It is the sensational media and the echo makers like you who propagate such false news that makes them look true when they repeated enough number of times!

  5. Thanks for the detailed info… But this is downright outrageous. thiopia doesn’t prohibit voip services at all. get your informations straight


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