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Germany ‘may revert to typewriters’ in wake of NSA spying revelations

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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.

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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.

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“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”.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

[Woman with typewriter on Shutterstock]

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Anxious Senate Republicans face a massive blowback after John Bolton bombshell

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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.

This article was originally published at Salon

It's clear they are anxious to get this over with so that the Republicans can bring the "vindicated" Trump into the House chamber like a conquering hero on Feb. 4 for the State of the Union address. They certainly don't want him to deliver it in the middle of his impeachment trial. If the incontinence Trump has displayed on his Twitter feed over the last few days is any indication, there's a good chance he'll leap off the dais and try to strangle House manager Adam Schiff with his bare hands.

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Senate GOP will be accessories to obstruction if they shoot down a move by Justice Roberts to call witnesses: Ex-prosecutor

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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.

Schiff must make a motion to CJ Roberts for witnesses. As I’ve been saying all along, if Roberts grants the motion for witnesses (he will) & the Rs vote to overrule him (they might) that will (de facto) be obstruction of justice & accessory after the fact. https://t.co/yQfUTga7gd

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Trump already planning his victory lap for impeachment acquittal: report

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President Donald Trump is already planning his victory lap for his presumed acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

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.

“The president is giving a lot of thought to where he goes when he is acquitted and vindicated,” a senior administration official told the website. “This isn’t a one-and-done moment. This will be a sustained exit from a long dreary impeachment process and a great reset to 2020 — not just the 2020 reelection but the 2020 domestic and international arena.”

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