German politicians are considering abandoning emails and going back to typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal, according to a key lawmaker.
The revelation by Patrick Sensburg, head of the German parliamentary committee investigating NSA activity, comes amid rocky relations between Berlin and Washington after the CIA’s “chief of station” in Berlin was asked to leave the country last week. In an interview with German broadcaster ARD on Monday, Sensburg was asked whether he and his colleagues had considering using typewriters to avoid eavesdropping. “Indeed we have — and not electronic ones,” he replied.
Ties between the countries have strained since files leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged that intelligence operatives had listened in on the phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Sensburg said officials have become far more cautious of using technology in the wake of the scandal, resorting to encrypted phones, emails, and even sound-proofed rooms. Russia has taken similar steps, according to the Guardian, with Moscow’s federal guard service ordering 20 Triumph Adler typewriters in the wake of the NSA leaks.