Russia Uses Typewriters to Thwart NSA “PRISM” Spying: Reports

July 11, 2013

Following the revelations of global surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency (NSA), Russia has decided to resort to the traditional method of typewriting documents to avert the theft of classified information.

It is more than a month since Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the US agency, revealed to the world that the NSA is spying on Americans and the citizens of other countries through phones and the Internet.

The leaked documents also showed that NSA spies based in Britain intercepted the top-secret communications of the then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Britain for the G20 summit in London in 2009.

The NSA paper was entitled: “Russian Leadership Communications in support of President Dmitry Medvedev at the G20 summit in London – Intercept at Menwith Hill station.”

Three years ago, Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, shocked the world by publishing hundreds of thousands of classified American documents.

“After the scandal with the circulation of classified documents by Wikileaks, the revelations made by Edward Snowden and reports that [Prime Minister] Dmitry Medvedev’s phone was tapped during his visit to the G-20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the use of paper documents,” a Russian official has told Izvestia, a Russian newspaper.

According to a tender posted on the government’s procurement website, the Russian government has approved $15,000 for the purchase of typewriters, ribbons and correction tape to be used by the Federal Protection Service-Russia’s equivalent of the U.S. Secret Service-which guards Russian officials, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Each typewriting machine has a unique handwriting which makes it easy to trace the document to its source, reports say.