Ed Driscoll

AFGHANISTAN TO LAUNCH INTERNET COUNTRY

AFGHANISTAN TO LAUNCH INTERNET COUNTRY CODE:

Equivalent to a country code for telephone numbers, the .af suffix has now been reserved for private and official e-mail and web users in Afghanistan, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), which gave legal and technical support to the program, said in a statement on Sunday.

“For Afghanistan, this is like reclaiming part of our sovereignty,” the UNDP quoted Communications Minister Mohammad Masoom Stanakzai as saying.

“It is the country’s flag on the Internet,” the minister, who will formally activate on Monday the new top level domain as Internet country codes are known, said.

Somewhat surprisingly, Reuters states that “All non-governmental use of e-mail services and Web Sites was punishable by death during the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban,” who they also described as merely “purist” in the lead paragraph.