Typewriters to stop Russian computer leaks

Western newspapers are reporting that Russia is to start using typewriters to stop computer leaks. However, Russian newspapers say this is not true. Western media says the Kremlin wants to keep its secrets secret by using the old-fashioned machines. The BBC wrote that Russia's intelligence service (FSO) bought the typewriters because of the leak of information on WikiLeaks and recent leaks by former U.S. intelligence worker Edward Snowden. The FSO reportedly told the Russian press that these scandals, plus reports about Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev being listened in on at the G20 summit in London, means it has "decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents".

A Russian government department said the Kremlin bought 20 electric typewriters for around $14,800. The FSO told reporters that: "This purchase has been planned for more than a year now." It also said the order has nothing to do with WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden. An FSO official told Russia's RT news agency that the FSO has always used typewriters. He said that it was simply time to buy new ones because the old equipment was out of date. He said: "It's not something unusual.…The time came to change them. All the special services use them, including the Ministry of Defense." A reader of the RT website suggested: "A $5 padlock is often more effective than a $24,000 surveillance system."