As Afghanistan Comes Online, It Grapples With Its First Cyber Security Laws


Afghan vendors selling smartphones wait for customers at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. Image: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
Afghan vendors selling smartphones wait for customers at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. Image: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
As one of Afghanistan’s contemporary female pop stars Aryana Sayeed, is used to getting misogynist comments for her work, her music, and even her appearance. After all, her songs, her performances, and her very existence are intentionally designed to make the many thousands of Afghan men who hold on dearly to patriarchal values uncomfortable.

By Ruchi Kumar | MOTHERBOARD

She often ignores the many unbecoming remarks threats issued by extremists and insurgent groups, most of which are delivered from behind the anonymity provided by social media. But then there are those that are more difficult to ignore, such as a bounty announced by an Afghan social media user on Facebook offering 50,000 AFN (about $750) for the death of Aryana.

“What’s appalling is that not only is his post and profile both public, he makes no effort to hide his identity and there is no fear of the law,” said Hasib Sayed, Aryana’s manager.

While Aryana has approached the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s primary intelligence agency, to help her track the threat, there are no mechanisms in place in Afghanistan for the millions of other users to report cybercrimes. However, that is about to change soon with a new cybersecurity bill currently under consideration by the Afghan government.

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