German politicians are considering a return to manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal.
The head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary enquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely.
Asked “Are you considering typewriters” by the interviewer on Monday night, the Christian Democrat politican Patrick Sensburg said: “As a matter of fact, we have – and not electronic models either”. “Really?”, the surprised interviewer checked. “Yes, no joke”, Sensburg responded.
During the ongoing row over alleged US spying operations in Germany, there had been speculation that the CIA may have actively targeted the Bundestag’s NSA inquiry committee.
“Unlike other inquiry committees, we are investigating an ongoing situation. Intelligence activities are still going on, they are happening,” said Sensburg..
Last year, the Russian government reportedly took similar measures in response to proof of NSA spying, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The federal guard service, a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, which create unique “handwriting”, that allows its source to be traced.
According to German media, revelations about digital surveillance have triggered a fundamental rethink about how the government conducts its communications. “Above all, people are trying to stay away from technology whenever they can”, wrote Die Welt.
“Those concerned talk less on the phone, prefer to meet in person. More coffees are being drunk and lunches eaten together. Even the walk in the park is increasingly enjoying a revival”.
[Woman with typewriter on Shutterstock]
Anxious Senate Republicans face a massive blowback after John Bolton bombshell
The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump continues this week, with the president's defense team making the case for his acquittal followed by questions from senators. The president's lawyers opened their presentation on Saturday with a mere two hours of arguments.
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On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) must motion for Chief Justice John Roberts to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial — and that if Senate Republicans vote down this decision, they will be "accessories" to obstruction of justice.
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The president and his aides haven't agreed on a plan yet, and it's not clear that new revelations from John Bolton's upcoming book will force Republican senators to agree to witness testimony, but they're discussing how he should celebrate once the trial ends, reported Politico.
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