Afghanistan’s government websites are ‘digital relics’ frozen in time

The Afghanistan Ministry of Justice website makes no mention of the Taliban takeover (Metro.co.uk) (Credits: Rich)

Despite the Taliban taking over as Afghanistan’s reigning government, there’s no reflection of this in cyberspace.

A quick look at the various departmental websites of Afghanistan’s now-defunct former government reveal a bizarre online time capsule.

Press releases on Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence web domain talk about a US gift of 640 new military vehicles and the ex-Acting Defense Minister meeting with an envoy of the European Union.

‘The strength and capability of the country’s national defense and security forces is commendable,’ it reads.

Meanwhile, the website belonging to ex-president Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country during a staff lunch break on August 15 as the Taliban took control of Kabul, remains unchanged.

A press release dated July 23 discusses a conversation between Ghani and US president Joe Biden, which makes for spooky reading given what took place less than a month later.

A digital time capsule (Metro.co.uk)

It reads: ‘Both sides stressed the importance of Afghans coming together for peace and security and reiterated the enduring partnership, continued diplomatic and economic support for the Afghan government, security forces and the importance of preserving the gains of the last twenty years.’

Reuters journalist Raphael Satter picked up on the strange state of Afghanistan’s unchanged web presence on Twitter.

‘Seems like a press release from an alternate timeline,’ he wrote.

At the time of writing, the websites belonging to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs fail to reflect the takeover of the Taliban regime.

Internet access is not widespread in Afghanistan. Only about 13.5 per cent of the population have access to the web and even then their speeds are far below the global average.


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