Friday, July 25, 2014

Germany Reverts to Typewriters in a Bid to Foil NSA Spies

German politicians are considering a return to manual typewriters following the U.S. surveillance scandal last year
  • German MPs considering a return to typewriters to combat spy activity
  • Non-electronic models could be used in government, politician suggests
  • Comes after claims German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was bugged by U.S agents last year
  • German officials unearthed two suspected spies in the country last week

  • German politicians are considering a new way of keeping sensitive information away from spies – reverting to typewriters.
    The idea of re-introducing manual typewriters was floated by the man fronting an inquiry into U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) activity in Germany.
    Christian Democrat politician Patrick Sensburg, head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary inquiry into the NSA surveillance scandal, was asked on television whether politicians were considering a return to older technology.
    Speaking on the Morgenmagazin TV programme, he replied ‘As a matter of fact, we have – and not electronic models either’ before adding ‘Yes, no joke,' The Guardian reports.
    It comes a year after allegations surfaced that the mobile telephone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been bugged by American agents.
    Just last week her government told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country, in a dramatic display of anger after German officials unearthed two suspected spies.
    The move has added to the damaged relations between Berlin and Washington.
    But concern about U.S. spying in the country has grown so much that MPs are now considering ditching computers in favour of typewriters - as well as maintaining some of their existing security measures.
    Mr Sensburg added: 'Of course we have to keep our internal communication secure, send encrypted emails, use encrypted telephones and other things, which I'm not going to say here.'
    The decision to order the CIA representative out came after dramatic reports of U.S. espionage in Germany.
    Public outrage at the revelations put pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take action against the United States.
    Last week, Berlin said it had discovered a suspected U.S. spy in the Defence Ministry.
    That came just days after a German foreign intelligence worker was arrested on suspicion of being a CIA informant and admitted passing documents to a U.S. contact.
    The scandal has chilled relations between Berlin and Washington to levels not seen since Merkel's predecessor opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
    It would not be the first time a country had turned to less sophisticated technology to counter spy activity.
    Russia's Federal Guard Service opted to use more typewriters after classified NSA documents were leaked by the organisation's former contractor Edward Snowden.

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