Russia resorts to typewriters to put the brakes on data leaks – report

15 Jul 2013

Motivated by recent reports of alleged US surveillance activities, Russia is going old school to stop digital data leaks by purchasing typewriters and producing paper documents, Russian newspaper Izvestia has reported.

Russia’s Federal Protective Service has placed an order for 20 typewriters, according to the state procurement website.

The agency, known by its Russian acronym FSO, is willing to pay some €580 for the machines, Izvestia reported.

The Kremlin-connected newspaper’s report also said the FSO believed it was necessary to expand the use of typewriters after former CIA contractor Edward Snowden reportedly used a flash drive to expose the extent of the US government’s phone and internet-monitoring activities.

“After the scandal with the spread of classified documents to WikiLeaks, revelations of Edward Snowden, reports of tapping (Russian Prime Minister) Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to the G20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents,” Izvestia reported a FSO source as having said.

The FSO itself has not commented on why it needs the typewriters.

Typist image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic