Exclusive-Google locks Afghan government account when Taliban looks for email-Source

File photo: The logo is displayed in the Google office in New York. New York City, USA, July 29, 2021.Reuters / Andrew Kell / File Photo

September 3, 2021

Rafael Satter

Washington (Reuters) – Google has temporarily suspended an unspecified number of Afghan government email accounts due to growing concerns about the traces of digital paper left by former officials and their international partners, according to someone familiar with the matter. Locked down.

A few weeks after the Taliban swiftly acquired Afghanistan from a U.S.-backed government, the report said biometrics https://theintercept.com/2021/08/17/afghanistan-taliban-military-biometrics. Afghanistan Salary https: // www.technologyreview.com/2021/08/30/1033941/afghanistan-biometric-databases-us-military-40-data-points Database abused by new rulers to hunt enemies There is a possibility that

In a statement on Friday, Alphabet Inc’s Google did not confirm that the Afghan government’s account was locked down, and the company is monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and said, “To protect related accounts. We are taking temporary measures. “

An employee of the former government told Reuters that the Taliban were trying to get an email from a former civil servant.

At the end of last month, employees said the Taliban had asked him to store the data held on the server of the province in which he worked.

“If I do, they will have access to data and official communications from former ministry leaders,” the employee said.

Employees have begun to hide ever since, saying he didn’t obey. Reuters has not identified the man or his previous ministry, concerned about his safety.

According to published email exchanger records, about 20 Afghan government agencies used Google’s servers to process official emails from the Treasury, Industry, Higher Education, and Mines. Records show that Afghanistan’s presidential protocol office used Google as well as some local governments.

Directing government databases and email can provide information about former administration employees, former ministers, government contractors, tribal allies, and foreign partners.

“It will provide a really wealth of information,” said Chad Anderson, a security researcher at Internet intelligence firm Domain Tools, which helped Reuters identify which ministries operate which email platforms. “Just putting an employee list on Google Sheets is a big deal,” he said, citing a report of retaliation against civil servants.

According to email exchanger records, Microsoft Corp’s email service was also used by several Afghan government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President. However, it is not clear what software companies are doing to prevent the data from falling into the hands of the Taliban.

Microsoft declined to comment.

Anderson said the Taliban’s attempts to control the digital infrastructure built in the United States are worth noting. The intelligence drawn from that infrastructure “may be far more valuable to emerging governments than older helicopters,” he said.

(Report by Raphael Satter, edited by Grant McCool)

Exclusive-Google locks Afghan government account when Taliban looks for email-Source

Source link Exclusive-Google locks Afghan government account when Taliban looks for email-Source

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