Google locks Afghan government email accounts to block Taliban: report
- Google has locked some accounts belonging to the Afghan government, a source told Reuters.
- There are concerns that the Taliban are using emails to drive out people who have worked against them.
- The Taliban have promised amnesty to all, but reports of detentions and executions suggest otherwise.
Google locked some email accounts belonging to the Afghan government after the Taliban takeover, a source told Reuters.
The report comes as concerns grow over how the Taliban might seek revenge against those who had worked with the US government. The group has promised to grant amnesty to all, but reports from the field seem to undermine those assurances.
In a statement to Reuters, Google did not explicitly confirm locking certain accounts, but said it was “taking temporary steps to secure the affected accounts” as it monitored the situation in Afghanistan.
Insider contacted Google for comment.
The source who told Reuters about the locked accounts was a former government employee. He said the Taliban told him last month to back up the data on his agency’s servers.
“If I do, they will have access to data and official communications from the previous leadership of the ministry,” he told the newspaper, adding that he had not done what was asked of him and that he was hiding now.
The Intercept reported last month that the Taliban had seized biometric devices belonging to the US military that could be used to identify Afghans working with the United States.
During the takeover, the Taliban obtained thousands of secret records and payrolls from the Afghan government, which may implicate Afghans who worked to counter the Taliban in the country, officials told The New York Times. .
Despite reassurances from the Taliban, sources told The Times there were reports of detentions and disappearances, as well as executions. A former Afghan official told the media he was in hiding when the Taliban showed up at his house in the middle of the night.
Other reports said the Taliban were going door to door looking for people with Western ties.