Kremlin wants to use typewriters to avoid digital data leaks

Leaking information is pretty easy in the digital age. All it takes is a copy and a paste, a couple clicks to send important — or classified — information around the world.

The Kremlin has a plan to combat these types of cyber leaks: typewriters. According to a report from AFP, which uses unnamed sources, the Russian government has ordered $15,000-worth of typewriters to be used in its communications department.

The report names Wikileaks as one of the inspirations for the return of the old-school communication method.

“This purchase has been planned for more than a year now,” the source tells AFP.

A tender for the electric typewriters has been posted on the Russian government’s website, says the report.

News of the typewriter procurement has also been published in the pro-government Izvestia paper. It reports that each typewriter is produces a slightly different “signature,” which allows documents created on each machine to be tracked back to their origin.

“From the point of view of ensuring security, any form of electronic communication is vulnerable,” Nikolai Kovalev, an MP and former head of the Federal Security Service, told Izvestia. “Any information can be taken from computers. Of course there are means of protection, but there is no 100 per cent guarantee they will work. So from the point of view of keeping secrets, the most primitive method is preferred: a human hand with a pen or a typewriter.”