Taliban uses CC instead of BCC, exposes identity of 400+ contacts

A Taliban spokesperson sent out a press-release and used CC instead of BCC, exposing a long list of Taliban press-contacts, as well as several parties friendly to Taliban communiques.

The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an l Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.

Taliban Oops Reveals Mailing List IDs [Muhammad Lila, ABC] (via Techdirt)


        1. I used BCC once instead of regular CC, and sixteen people wrote back, “what are you trying to hide?” You just can’t win sometimes.

    1. To be fair, Petreus is really an army boy, not a company man.  If he’d been a proper spook, he wouldn’t have gone down in a sex scandal.  (I think it was probably an inside job, in fact, because it’s totally their MO, and from all accounts they didn’t like answering to a GI.)

      1. Yeah once you understood the personalities involved I suppose it could have been done with a few forged email headers. Very elegant and not even hi tech. Whole thing was spring loaded.

      2. I don’t know… I’m sure the actual working level are quite competent, but as always the higher the rank, the more likely that their primary skill is self-promotion.


        The CIA finally focused on Ames after it realized that despite a salary of only $60,000, Ames had been able to afford:

        A $540,000 house in Arlington, Virginia, paid for in cash;

        A $50,000 Jaguar automobile;

        Home remodeling and redecoration costs of $99,000;

        Monthly phone bills exceeding $6,000, mostly calls by Ames’s wife to her family in Bogotá, Colombia

        Tailored suits that replaced Ames’s former ‘bargain basement’ clothes, conspicuously finer than those of his CIA colleagues; and

        Premium credit cards whose minimum monthly payment exceeded his monthly salary.

  1. LMAO! I guess when you declare technology unholy or unMuslimlike or whatever, such mistakes are bound to happen. Seems a little hypocritical though, for a bunch of people to be sending out emails when, as the ruling Party in Afghanistan they banned, (other people), watching television.

    1. It’s not about technology for them, it’s about content.  Watching the muzzein pray on TV would be just fine. Jersey Shore, not so much.

  2. See, the Taliban can’t use BCC and discloses embarrassing things on email- just like us!! Surely we can use this shared experience to realize our common humanity and forge bonds of togetherness. 

      1. Like it or not, we share that with the Taliban. And with the National Socialists of 1923-1945 and with any other group of human beings. Being humans and being liable to stupidity. I don’t know about holding hands and forging bonds… The key to get them to stop doing what they do without horrendous carnage is that they are humans.

  3. I love how we are still using cc and bcc. Think of all the people who have grown up never seeing a piece of carbon paper who still use this naming convention.
    Correctness Man “Be sure to carbon copy me on the email.” Me. “What’s that?”Correctness Man. “We used to have to roll a piece of carbon paper in between the original letter and a blank sheet of paper to get a copy made. Then people could get a poor imitation of the original to keep.”Me. “Dude we don’t use carbon paper anymore, it’s all digital why don’t we just say, “Be sure to copy me on the email.”
    Correctness man, “Don’t confuse me with your technology! I might have to use electronic mail but I demand we use terminology from the 18th century. Besides, if I leave off the carbon part of carbon copy it could just be the letter c. and people would think it was part of a., b., series or a stray copyright mark also when I want you to use blind carbon copy to hide names it would just be bc and that might be confused with Before Christ or the comic strip B.C. or British Columbia and that is a bad thing.
    Now back to work! I’m reading a new book on my Kindle and it’s a real page turner.

    1.  We actually have a customer who still orders carbon paper forms. We had a good laugh about that while speculating what happens after we run out of our limited supply.

        1.  Just call it courtesy copy instead of carbon copy and the abbreviations still work – that what folks in my neck of the woods ask for – a courtesy copy.

  4. Anyone else wonder if maybe “Taliban chooses to sacrifice unwitting pawns to associate people they don’t like w/ themselves in the eyes of their enemies”?


  6. Probably the same guy who keeps pissing off the entire mailing list of cell operators by always hitting “Reply All”. 

    1. No, but it’s also possible that you are involved in some capacity with providing materiel support, and their choosing to identify you in particular does provide some justification for now investigating you.

        1. Spammers generally send to more than 400 recipients.

          Spammers generally send to any and all e-mail addresses that they can.

          Spammers generally are not killing people.

          This looks more like a subscription mailing list or targeted mailing.

      1. The fine article specifically mentioned it was a list of press contacts. Are you saying because the Taliban sent the BBC or whoever a press release decrying the actions of imperialist infidels, they should investigated for providing material support?! 

  7. Because the title of the post remains uncorrected, I suspect that Cory was being ironic. And I fell for it.

  8. Fuck the fucking Taliban.  They are the most evil, worthless douchebags on  the planet.  Who cares if they do internet or email wrong?  They murder people, kids in particular.  

    1. Which is different from blowing them up from the sky, a more humane approach that merely does not differentiate between children and adults.

      Taliban are scum, but they are not the only scum around.

    2.  I think that people care because it’s possible that many e-mail recipients are previously-unknown Taliban sympathizers, possibly active collaborators.  If any are collaborators, denying the Taliban use of their resources will weaken the Taliban, and could help to end the fighting.  Even if no collaborators can be identified, if any have collaborated they may stop collaborating for fear of being caught now that they’re suspected.

      1. Did you guys even read the SUMMARY of the article, or were you in too big of a hurry to spout off your uninformed opinion? IT WAS A LIST OF JOURNALISTS AND PRESS OUTLETS AND WELL-KNOWN SYMPATHIZERS. 

    1. Should have used GNU FDL, or at very least a BSD license, with its explicit “It’s Not My FAULT” clause.

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