German politicians are so concerned about U.S. surveillance that they’re considering turning to typewriters to keep sensitive documents away from prying eyes.
In an interview with the German TV program “Morgenmagazin,” Patrick Sensburg, who heads up the German parliamentary inquiry into U.S. National Security Agency activity, said that his office was seriously considering using a typewriter for sensitive missives, German news site Die Welt reported Monday.
Speaking with Sensburg about how the committee plans to beef up security in the wake of new U.S. espionage allegations, a "Morgenmagazin" interviewer asked, “Are you considering typewriters?”
“As a matter of fact, we have -- and not electronic models either,” Sensburg answered, according to a translation by The Guardian, verified by The Huffington Post.
Sensburg, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, is the chairman of a committee to investigate allegations of NSA surveillance in Germany. The committee first formed earlier this year and has certainly had its hands full since then.
Just this month, a German intelligence worker was found to be relaying information to the U.S. in exchange for money, The Guardian reported at the time.
The agent, who allegedly shared hundreds of documents with U.S. agents, may have been specifically tasked with spying on the German NSA inquiry committee, according to The Guardian.
Using manual typewriters to avoid further digital snooping may seem like the most inconvenient tack imaginable, but it's not without precent. Last year, Russia’s Federal Guard Service also considered using typewriters in response to leaked documents that revealed the U.S. had intercepted top-secret communications by then-president and current prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.
But German government officials aren’t planning to toss their laptops in the Rhine just yet. Sensburg said in the interview that the committee is also adding digital security measures like encryption of electronic devices and emails.