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Afghanistan ‘bans’ the Internet

Cyberspace deemed 'wrong' and 'against Islam'

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The Taliban has banned the use of the Internet in Afghanistan to stop "immoral" material flooding into the country.

According to the Afghan Islamic Press, Taliban Foreign Minister Maulvi Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil said it wasn't that the Afghan government was opposed to the Net, it just didn't like the filth that was freely displayed on it.

Muttawakil commented: "We want to establish a system in Afghanistan through which we can control all those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral and against Islam," Afghan Islamic Press reports, via Reuters.

Until now, those in the country lucky enough to have both a computer and the electricity to run it, such as foreign aid agencies, have logged onto the Net via phone lines and ISPs provided by neighbouring Pakistan.

Quite how the thought police plan to determine who is using the phone lines to access the Internet wasn't explained. But the ban applies to everyone, including workers in government offices.

Other examples of Taliban control over what is "wrong" and "immoral" in Afghanistan include women not being allowed to work, go to school or leave their homes without a male chaperone, while "illegal sexual relations" are deemed punishable by beatings or death. ®

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