When the Taliban captured Herat on August 12, Yasin and his colleagues predicted that it would not be long before invading Taliban forces captured their city, Mazar-i-Sharif.
“Things were more tense in Mazar too, as well as me and the other computers Kars Mazar who worked together held a secret meeting to decide what should be done to protect our content.” Among them, the Unofficial Computer Consortium Kars It had several hundred terabytes of data collected over several years, much of it would be considered controversial – and even criminal – by the Taliban.
“We all agreed not to delete the most heinous content, but to hide the most heinous content,” he says. “We thought these regimes come and go in Afghanistan frequently, but our work should not be disrupted.”
He’s not too worried about being found out.
“People hide guns, money, jewelry, etc., so I’m not afraid to hide their hard drives. They won’t be able to find them. [them],” he says. “I am a 21st century boy, and most of the Taliban live in the past.”
Less than 20 years after former President Hamid Karzai made his first phone call in Afghanistan, there are nearly 23 million mobile phone users in a country of less than 39 million people. But internet access is a different matter: By early 2021, there were fewer than 9 million internet users, a lag that is largely attributable to widespread physical security problems, high costs, and a lack of infrastructure development across the country’s mountainous terrain.
That’s why the computer Kars Such Yassin can now be found all over Afghanistan. Although they sometimes download their information from the Internet when they are able to get a connection, they actually transfer a lot of it to hard drives from neighboring countries – what’s known as a “sneakernet”.
“I use Wi-Fi at home to download some music and apps; I also have five SIM cards for the internet,” says Mohib Allah, another Kar who requested that his real name not be used. “But the connection here is unreliable, so every month I send a 4TB hard drive to Jalalabad, they fill it with content and bring it back within a week with the latest Hindi movies or Turkish TV dramas, music and apps,” for which he says he pays between 800 and 1,000 afghanis. ($8.75 to $11).
“People hide guns, money, jewelry and so on, so I’m not afraid to hide my hard drives. I’m a 21st century boy, and most of the Taliban live in the past.”Mohamed Yassin Computer Car
Mohibullah says he can install more than 5GB of data on the phone — including movies, songs, music videos, and even course lessons — for just AFN100, or $1.09. I have the latest Hollywood and Bollywood movies dubbed in Dari and Pashto [Afghan national languages]He told me in early August, days before the Taliban took over.
For more, Mohib Allah helps clients create accounts on social media, set up their phones and laptops, and even write emails to them. “I sell everything — from the ground up to the contents. Everything but ‘100% movies’,” he said, referring to pornography. (He later admitted he had some “free videos,” another nickname for porn, but only sold it for trusted clients).