Google has possibly closed down an unknown number of Afghan government email accounts after the Taliban tried to access the previous government’s emails.
According to Al-Arabiya, although the Taliban announced a general amnesty for officials in the previous government and their allies after taking control of Afghanistan, British news agency Reuters says that they are trying to reach the email accounts of these former officials.
In a statement on Friday, Google, Alphabet inc. said the company was monitoring the situation in Afghanistan but did not confirm if the Afghan government’s email accounts had been blocked.
On the other hand, a former Afghan government official told Reuters that the Taliban wanted to access emails from former officials. The Taliban asked them last month to secure the data on the servers of the respective ministry for which they worked.
Speaking anonymously out of security concerns, the official said he did not comply with the Taliban order and is now in hiding.
Publicly available mail exchanger records show that nearly two dozen Afghan government agencies used Google servers for government emails, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Higher Education, and Minerals. Like some local governments, Afghanistan’s office of presidential protocol had been using Google accounts.
Government databases and emails can provide information about employees of former administrations, former ministers, government contractors, tribal allies, and foreign partners.
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