The Russian newspaper “Izvestia” reported on Thursday that the Federal Protective Service of the country bought 20 typewriters to prevent sensitive information from leaking via electronic means. The report said the measure was taken after the revelation of the espionage scheme of the United States in June.
Washington is responsible for monitoring information from governments, the military and millions of civilians internet users and phones in many countries of the world, through a scheme set up by the National Security Agency (NSA).
The scheme was unveiled in early June by the former NSA’s computer technician Edward Snowden, who rendered services to the NSA. He had requested his extradition by the U.S. government and is in the transit area of the airport Sheremetyevo in Moscow since 23rd June.
According to published sources, the decision of Moscow was evaluated for three years, since the first disclosures made by WikiLeaks on U.S. foreign policy, and gained momentum with Snowden’s revelations about activities of the NSA.
However, it was taken only after the discovery of wiretaps made by the Americans to the current prime minister and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the 2009 G20 summit in London. Analysts polled by “Izvestia” say the machines are used in all departments that use confidential information.
Other government officials say that:
“The Ministry of Defence has never ceased to use the machines, because they are considered safer means and less vulnerable to espionage to convey information, although more primitive.”
The revelation of the espionage scheme caused a diplomatic crisis between the United States and several strategic partners, such as Europe, Japan and Russia. Monitoring also received strong criticism from Latin American countries such as Brazil.
The NSA, whose material was released by Snowden, is one of the most secretive organizations in the world. According to the information submitted by the whistleblower, the agency monitored the call records of millions of phones from Verizon, the second largest U.S. telephone company.
Were also verified data of internet users around the world in Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. The scandal caused criticism of President Barack Obama, who battled spying by the agencies.