The Russian secret services are deploying an innovative new weapon in the age of cyber-spying – the almost forgotten typewriter.
Kremlin counter-intelligence officers reckon this is the only way to prevent their most classified information being stolen by the kind of computer-based data theft exposed by renegade U.S. agent Edward Snowden.
An order for 20 typewriters has been made by the elite Federal Guard Service, known by the acronym FSO, which is in charge of protecting Russian president Vladimir Putin, his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, and other senior officials, it was disclosed on Thursday.
‘After scandals with the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the exposes by Edward Snowden, 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,’ said a source.
Snowden’s presence with his laptops – said to be bulging with U.S. secrets – in the transit lounge at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo, brings the threat of cyber-spying home to Russia, explained pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia.
Unlike printers, every typewriter has its own individual pattern of type so it is possible to link every document to a machine used to type it, said the newspaper.
Typewriters rather than computers are already deployed, described as ‘normal practice to ensure security’, to record Putin’s deepest secrets, said another source.