Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Taliban Floggings Hint At New Crackdown On Smartphones

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RFE/RL, 30 October 2018

AAN’s Obaid Ali is quoted here about the Taleban’s policy on smart phones:

Obaid Ali, an expert on the Afghan insurgency at the Afghanistan Analysts Network, an independent think tank in Kabul, says the Taliban’s cultural commission banned all fighters from using smartphones in 2016 for security and religious reasons. Since then, Ali says, the militants have enforced the ban on civilians in some areas under their control. But he says primitive mobile phones without Internet access or the ability to record images or video are tolerated in many of those same locations, which frequently lack fixed-line telephone services.

“One of the main reasons the Taliban banned smartphones was because of the growing threat of U.S. drone strikes and surveillance,” says Ali. “The Taliban also fears smartphones being used among civilians because people can access independent information, take photos and videos, and might give away the militants’ activities and locations.”