Kremlin to buy typewriters in bid to avoid computer leaks

AFP-JIJI

A Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications is looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware, sources said Thursday.

The throwback to the paper-strewn days of Soviet bureaucracy has reportedly been prompted by the publication of secret documents by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and the revelations leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The Federal Guard Service, which is also in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin, is looking to spend just over 486,000 rubles ($14,800) to buy a number of electric typewriters, according to the site of state procurement agency, zakupki.gov.ru.

“This purchase has been planned for more than a year now,” a source at the service, known by its Russian acronymum, FSO, said Thursday.

The notice on the site was posted last week. A spokeswoman for the service declined comment.

Pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia said the state service was looking to purchase 20 typewriters because using computers to prepare top-secret documents may no longer be safe.

Unlike printers, every typewriter has its own individual pattern of type so it is possible to link every document to a machine used to type it, Izvestia said.