MOSCOW - Got an old typewriter in your garage? Call the Kremlin.
Russia's Federal Protective Service, a KGB successor agency in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters.
They may be low-tech, but typewriters are realtively leak-proof in the new world of computer snooping an hacking, in Moscow's view.
The agency, known by its Russian acronym FSO, is ready to pay 486,000 roubles (463,000 baht) for 20 electric typewriters, according to a report in Izvestia.
The newspaper said the agency believed it was necessary to expand the use of typewriters following disclosures of sweeping US surveillance programmes by leaker Edward Snowden and earlier publication of classified documents by WikiLeaks.
It said that typewriters have been used in particular for printing drafts of some official documents and reports presented to Mr Putin.
"This purchase has been planned for more than a year now," a source at the FSO told AFP.
A procurement notice was posted on the service's website last week. A spokeswoman for the service declined comment.
Izvestia said the state service was looking to purchase 20 typerwriters because using computers to prepare top-secret documents may no longer be safe.
Unlike printers, every typewriter has its own indvidual "signature" or pattern of type so it is possible to link every document to the machine used to type it, Izvestia said.
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