Kremlin's Anti-Leak Strategy: Typewriters?
Security officials order $15K worth of low-tech machines
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 12, 2013 1:44 AM CDT
Updated Jul 12, 2013 6:52 AM CDT
Russia is rumored to be using typewriters to avoid leaks.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – With leaks and surveillance concerns flooding the international community, Russia's got a not-so-high-tech defense system: The Kremlin is using typewriters. Security officials are set to spend more than $15,000 on the machines, says an insider. Following news of WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and "reports about Dmitry Medvedev being listened in on during his visit to the G20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents," the source tells a Russian paper, per the Telegraph.

Key communications to Vladimir Putin and the defense minister arrive on paper, the source notes. "From the point of view of preserving secrets, the most primitive methods are preferable: a person’s hand and a pen, or a typewriter," a former security boss adds. What's more, typewriters each carry a unique pattern, allowing documents to be traced back to individual machines. USA Today and the Guardian are also carrying the typewriter story, but RT says it's much ado about not much: A security source notes that typewriter usage is nothing new among the country's special services. The new batch is being ordered simply because "the time came" to renew the machines.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 12, 2013 11:01 PM CDT
We have the usual programs in place to spy in Russia. Since their people still have to wait in line to get their weekly allotment of toilet paper, we can just buy most of them off with a nice case pack of Charmin that you and I can walk into any Walmart and get through the express lane in about 20 minutes, maybe 5 minutes through the home and garden registers if its not a weekend. Also you have to remember we still renew the program to provide Russia $25M in direct payments to pay the soldiers who guard the aging nuclear stockpiles. If we didn't do that, the regions like Kazakhstan would have already sold them to Al Queda.
gssusarr
Jul 12, 2013 2:41 PM CDT
This is our opportunity for Uncle Sam to sell the Russians all that "carbon" paper we probably have stored in warehouses!
Uku-lele
Jul 12, 2013 1:35 PM CDT
It would be NSA's dream to have world leaders like Putin start a facebook or linkedin page or a twitter account. The social media are the eyes and ears of the U.S. feds.