The Kremlin's communications watchdog has ordered typewriters to prevent potential leaks of sensitive information in the aftermath of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations about Washington's electronic snooping and eavesdropping.
The Kremlin-linked daily Izvestia reported that Russia's Federal Protection Service (FSO), in charge of protecting president Vladimir Putin and safeguarding Kremlin secrets, has turned to an office tool pretty much consigned to museums in much of the world to beat counter-agents. It has ordered 20 Triumph Adlew Twen 180 typewriters for 486,000 rubles (£10,000).
The order, which is seen also as a reaction to the recent false report of the firing of Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin and the WikiLeaks release of US diplomatic cables in 2012, has been confirmed by the state procurement agency.
"After scandals with the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the exposés 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," an FSO source told Isvestia.
The Triumph Adler Twain 180 allows the composition of "fairly complex documents for use in professional organisations" and printing confidential documents, it said. These kinds of typewriters are still in use in several ministries as each machine has a unique "handwriting", a sort of trademark that can be traced back to the source.
Documents leaked by Snowden to Der Spiegel highlighted that Britain spied on foreign diplomats, including then president Dmitry Medvedev, at the 2009 G20 meetings in London.