- By Uri Friedman
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.
Living in fear of "replying all" to your company-wide emails? Hey, it could be worse. ABC News reports:
In a Dilbert-esque faux pax, a Taliban spokesperson sent out a routine email last week with one notable difference. He publicly CC’d the names of everyone on his mailing list.
The names were disclosed in an email by Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official Taliban spokesperson, on Saturday. The email was a press release he received from the account of Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesperson. Ahmedi then forwarded Mujahid’s email to the full Taliban mailing list, but rather than using the BCC function, or blind carbon copy which keeps email addresses private, Ahmedi made the addresses public.
"Taliban have included all 4 of my email addresses on the leaked distribution list," tweeted journalist Mustafa Kazemi, a prolific Kabul-based tweeter with more than 9,500 followers. "Quite reassuring to my safety."
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 … 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.
Where’s AOL’s old "unsend" button when you need it? On the other hand, perhaps this is an opportunity to establish a listserv for Afghan peace talks?
Update: Looks like the Taliban’s e-mail blunder has inspired a hashtag on Twitter: #TalibanSubjectLines. Here are some of the proposed e-mail subject lines:
LinkedInfidel Network Updates #talibansubjectlines
— Leigh Caldwell (@leighblue) November 16, 2012
"A video we can’t stop watching" #talibansubjectlines
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) November 16, 2012
What not to wear this holiday season. #talibansubjectlines
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) November 16, 2012
"Can I count on you to contribute $3 to death of America?" #talibansubjectlines
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) November 16, 2012