To avoid espionage, Russia is switching to typewriters
In a move that belongs in a dystopian sci-fi film, yet sounds frighteningly reasonable, Russia has decided to ditch computers for fear that they’re too unsecure.
It seems we can’t go a week without hearing about an intelligence leak, cyber attack or hacking in one form or another, and it’s becoming a legitimate concern for many countries. While the world’s more high-tech nations obviously have good cyber security programs running, hackers tend to always find a back door, and with both corporations and governments falling under siege from cyber attacks, Russia has decided to take some drastic, yet very sensible action.
The Russian State Procurement Agency FSO has recently announced that it’s interested in spending up to $15,000 on old typewriters to handle top secret documents. That’s right, Russia is going offline, and isn’t kidding around about it. “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,” a source at the newspaper Izvestia said.
I guess this also means Russia is back to doing those exciting abandoned-car-park document deliveries.
The typewriters are designed to all have slightly different fonts, which means Russian intelligence will be able to trace and where each document came from. The US obviously has similar cyber security problems, but a slightly different approach. Last week, the department of commerce spent $2.7 million dollars on removing malware from some computers. That sounds an awful lot like the space pen story (though the space pen story isn’t actually true).