Anorak | Don’t use the Internet if you want to keep secrets – Russian spies revert to paper economy

Don’t use the Internet if you want to keep secrets – Russian spies revert to paper economy

by | 12th, July 2013


I ASSUME that we all actually know this by now, that you cannot keep things secret on the internet? At least, we should all have learnt it from the revelations by Edward Snowden I think, no? That the only truly secure computer is one that’s not connected to anything at all?

It would appear that the Russians have worked this out:

In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

At least that’s the way the story is being played. Use typewriters so that no one can electronically snoop on your by now no longer electronic communications. There is a slight flaw in the idea which is of course that we did indeed have spies before we had email and they did indeed find things out.

But the real truth of the matter here is in the next line:

Each typewriter creates a unique “handwriting”, allowing its source to be traced, the report said.

This isn’t about keeping secrets at all. It’s about working out who has leaked them if as and when they are indeed leaked. That’s why you want the unique handwriting of the typewriter: so you can see which bastard is supplementing his income by flogging off the information.

Posted: 12th, July 2013 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink