Leila Belhadj Mohamed
Executive Member - Advocacy
Privacy Network
Taliban found biometric database from US Army: and now, what?

Among the first news to come out of Kabul last August was the loss of Coalition databases containing biometric data of Afghan citizens who had fallen into the hands of the Taliban.

The danger of this loss was immediately apparent: it is impossible for citizens to maintain their anonymity and dissidents are in even greater danger. Afghanistan is only the most famous of the cases, but there are many examples: from the databases containing the data of Rohingya refugees given to the Myanmar government to the risk for Syrian dissidents of being persecuted by the Regime, now that it has rejoined Interpol. Or the role of the EU in implementing surveillance policies in non-EU countries.

This is the starting point for an important reflection: what can happen when technologies that we believe to be neutral become weapons in the wrong hands?


Graduated in International Relations, she's a trans-feminist activist, expert in geopolitics and human rights, with a focus on data protection. She worked for years in social communication, with a working parenthesis in a consulting firm where she approached and became passionate about data protection.

In the last two years she has been working as a contributing writer for several online magazines and since September 2021 she has been managing the podcast "Matassa", focused on the geopolitics of the Middle East and the African continent.

Executive member of Privacy Network, she closely follows advocacy projects related to censorship and digital rights protection.