Google, the Internet’s largest search engine, has temporarily blocked several e-mail accounts of the Afghan government.
A source close to the matter told Reuters that the decision to lock down accounts had raised fears about the trail of digital links between former Afghan government officials and their global partners. Was done to reduce.
Since the fall of the US-backed Afghan government and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, various reports have pointed out that the new rulers have misused biometric and Afghan payroll databases to locate their enemies. Can be used
Google’s Alphabet did not confirm in a statement that it had locked down the Afghan government’s accounts, but said it was monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and that “temporary steps have been taken to secure the accounts.”
“The Taliban are trying to get e-mail accounts of former government officials,” said a former Afghan government employee.
“Late last month, the Taliban asked him to save the data of the ministry he was working for on a server,” he said.
“If I do, they will have access to the former ministry’s official contacts and data,” said a former Afghan government employee.
“They did not follow the orders of the Taliban and are now in hiding,” he said.
His name and ministry were not released by Reuters for security reasons.
Publicly available mail exchanger records show that about 2 dozen Afghan government agencies used Google’s servers to handle government e-mails, including the Ministries of Finance, Industry, Higher Education and Mines.
In addition, Afghanistan’s Office of Presidential Protocol reportedly used Google as a local government agency.
Government databases and emails can provide information about former administration employees, former ministers, government contractors, tribal allies and foreign partners.
Chad Anderson, a security researcher at Internet intelligence firm Domain Tools, said: “Google Sheets is just a big issue for government employees. It will provide a wealth of information.”
Records of e-mail exchanges show that many Afghan government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President, also used Microsoft Corporation’s e-mail services.
However, it is not clear what steps Microsoft has taken to prevent these accounts from falling into the hands of the Taliban.
When contacted by Reuters, Microsoft declined to comment.
Chad Anderson said the Taliban’s attempt to control the US-made digital infrastructure was visible.
He said the information gained from this infrastructure could be more valuable than the old helicopters of a collapsing government.