Google locks Afghan government email accounts as concerns grow over the Taliban tracking down their enemies, report says

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Google locks Afghan government email accounts as concerns grow over the Taliban tracking down their enemies, report says
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  • Google locked some accounts belonging to the Afghanistan government, a source told Reuters.
  • There are concerns over the Taliban using emails to hunt people who worked against them.
  • The Taliban has promised amnesty to all, but reports of detentions and executions suggest otherwise.

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Google locked some email accounts belonging to the Afghanistan government following the Taliban takeover, a source told Reuters.

The report comes as concerns grow over how the Taliban might seek retribution towards those who had worked with the US government. The group has promised to grant amnesty to all, but reports from the ground appear to undermine those assurances.

In a statement to Reuters, Google did not explicitly confirm they locked certain accounts but said they were “taking temporary actions to secure relevant accounts” as they monitor the situation in Afghanistan.

Insider has reached out to 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 save the data on his agency’s servers.

“If I do so, then they will get access to the data and official communications of the previous ministry leadership,” he told the outlet, adding he did not do what was asked and is now in hiding.

The Intercept reported last month that the Taliban had seized biometrics devices belonging to the US military that could be used to identify Afghans who worked with the US.

During the takeover the Taliban obtained thousands of the Afghan government’s secret files and payroll lists, which could implicate Afghans who worked to counter the Taliban in the country, officials told The New York Times that 

Despite the Taliban’s assurances, sources told The Times there were reports of detentions and disappearances, as well as executions. One former Afghan official told the outlet he was in hiding when the Taliban showed up at his house in the middle of the night.

Other reports have said the Taliban is going door-to-door seeking out people with ties to the West.

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