Old-school security? Kremlin orders $15,000-worth of electric typewriters

A Kremlin security agency has ordered $15,000-worth of electric typewriters – sparking international gossip about a return to “old school” security measures.

The order, for 48,654,000 roubles-worth of electric typewriters for the Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO), was interpreted by some as a response to current concerns over computer security.

“After scandals surrounding the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and reports about Dmitri Medvedev being listened on during his visit to the G20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents,” an unnamed source told Russia’s Izvestia newspaper.

“Many documents are still not created in electronic format. This practice continues inside the defense ministry, the emergency situations ministry and the security services,” the source said.

Russia Today said that the move was not evidence of heightened security – rather than the Russian government had always used such measures to keep data safe. The new order was simply to replace existing equipment.

“It’s not something unusual – the time came to change them. Everyone has these typewriters – the Emergencies Ministry, Ministry of Defense, every special service has them,” an FSO officer told Russian Today.

“They are still used to prepare documents, which we do not envisage having an electronic form,” a source told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency, describing it as, “Normal practice to ensure security of information.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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