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Russia Reverts To Typewriters To Fight Leaks

Jul. 11, 2013 - 01:25PM   |  
By Doug Stanglin USA TODAY   |   Comments
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In the wake of recent NSA spy scandals, Russia’s Federal Guard Service has decided to revert to using more typewriters and paper documents, Izvestia reports.

Toward that end, the FSO, which protects Russia’s top officials and Kremlin communications, recently ordered 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the newspaper reports.

“After the scandal with the spread of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, reports of listening to Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to the G20 summit in London, the practice of creating paper documents will increase,” an unidentified FSO source tells Izvestia.

One key reason for using typewriters is that each creates its own unique “signature” that can be traced, the newspaper says.

The source notes that many critical groups, including the defense ministry, emergency situations ministry and the security services, have never switched over to electronic documents.

“From the point of view of ensuring security, any form of electronic communication is vulnerable,” Nikolai Kovalev, an MP and former head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB, told Izvestia.

“Any information can be taken from computers,” he said. “Of course there are means of protection, but there is no 100 percent guarantee they will work. So from the point of view of keeping secrets, the most primitive method is preferred: a human hand with a pen or a typewriter.”

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