The Taliban may be going high-tech.
London's Daily Mail reported Saturday that an unnamed British intelligence source told it that the violent Afghan Islamists were using Skype, the free Internet phone service, to communicate without being overheard as they plan attacks on Western soldiers.
"The trouble with this technology is that it is easily available but devilishly hard to crack," the source told the Mail. "The technology can now be accessed on mobile Internet devices and the country's mobile-phone network is expanding rapidly."
It's true that Skype's encryption is impossible to crack. It's also true that Skype is available for Windows Mobile smartphones.
But it's doubtful that a Taliban commander standing by the side of a dirt road 20 miles outside of Kandahar is going to get much mobile broadband Internet access on his $600 phone.
More likely, any insurgents using Skype to evade Western ears are sitting in front of regular old PCs, using fixed lines to route calls over the Internet.
It's not clear how much broadband "penetration" there is in Afghanistan, but there are about two dozen Internet service providers, and a Chinese telecom's busy building a nationwide fiber-optic network.