Germans May Ditch Email for Typewriters to Foil NSA

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Germans May Ditch Email for Typewriters to Foil NSA

Christian Democrat politican Patrick Sensburg doesn't believe in electric, either.

Germany's become so infuriated over NSA spying revelations that it recently demanded the removal of the CIA's top intelligence officer and Berlin station chief, and now the head of the Bundestag's inquiry into the NSA affair has said it's time to go one step further in its search for perfect security. Email cannot be trusted, but typewriters can, and the committee's determination to ensure the CIA doesn't get its hands on its deliberations before official release may lead it to buying old tech in bulk.

When asked in a television interview whether the committee was considering typewriters, its head, Christian Democrat politican Patrick Sensburg, replied, "As a matter of fact, we have - and not electronic models either." It's no joke; it may even be a sensible precaution given the circumstances, though it's to be hoped that someone remembers to burn the typewriter ribbon rather than throw it in the trash.

The inquiry's paranoia is to be expected, given that new spying revelations are occurring every day. The latest spy scandal involves a BND double agent, originally suspected of spying for Russia. It turns out that the spy, known only as Markus R, actually met with CIA handlers, and was paid about $34,000 to provide over 218 documents to American intelligence.

Sensburg is also keen to make sure his current means of communication aren't being interfered with. He wants all members of his committee to run security checks on their smartphones, and intends to do the same with his.

"We have to try to keep our internal communication sure to send encrypted e-mails, use crypto phones and other things, and other things that I won't mention, of course," says Sensburg.

Source: Guardian

Permalink

Who needs a stupid sci-Fi, shitty excuse for the mass lose of modern life when we have the NSA forcing everyone to use old tech coz they just have to dip their dicks in everyone's cup of tea.

They should use messenger pigeons with a security escort of falcons just in case.

I seem to remember Russia was considering the same thing a few months ago, obviously it's a good time to be in the manual typewriter business.

Can we please stop spying on our allies? This is just getting absurd at this point.

karma9308:
Can we please stop spying on our allies? This is just getting absurd at this point.

Obviously they've never played Civ 4. Nothing pisses off your allies more.

It would appear the employment future's looking bright for the Navajo Indians:

http://www.utm.edu/staff/jmiller/honors2005/11silko/christaww2.htm

I suppose in the UK we could just employ scousers to do the same thing.

This is why the NSA spying electronically doesn't work to keep Americans safe from the terrorism they claim they're fighting against. When you can be beaten by type writers and snail mail, you're useless. Especially when everyone knows this, including the people you're protecting against.

I always thought spying was an act of war, maybe break off all diplomatic contact. Or at least they shot the spies. I wonder, what would happen if everyone started spying on America to the same degree America is spying on them?

008Zulu:
I always thought spying was an act of war, maybe break off all diplomatic contact. Or at least they shot the spies. I wonder, what would happen if everyone started spying on America to the same degree America is spying on them?

What if everyone is already spying on America, their spies just aren't a public security agency that makes no qualms with telling you what it does?

WHAT IF WE ARE ALL... SPY.

Honestly, this country's "spying" seems more like a "Hey, so, I know you got that wireless network neighbor (Russia), but I'd really like to, you know, use it too. I hope that's alright. And I might look through your things.

Yeah, anyway, coffee tomorrow?"

I'm not sure what to make of it at this point.

008Zulu:
I always thought spying was an act of war, maybe break off all diplomatic contact. Or at least they shot the spies. I wonder, what would happen if everyone started spying on America to the same degree America is spying on them?

I'm sure that these countries are also spying on America. Information is too valuable a commodity not to, allies or not. Hell, it's probably even more important to spy on your allies. Especially if they're planning on backstabbing you or stealing information to begin with.

Kopikatsu:

I'm sure that these countries are also spying on America. Information is too valuable a commodity not to, allies or not. Hell, it's probably even more important to spy on your allies. Especially if they're planning on backstabbing you or stealing information to begin with.

I always hated when they stole my naval tech.

Kopikatsu:

I'm sure that these countries are also spying on America. Information is too valuable a commodity not to, allies or not. Hell, it's probably even more important to spy on your allies. Especially if they're planning on backstabbing you or stealing information to begin with.

Then I suppose it's ironic that a super surveillance state seems to be unable to catch any spies. I wouldn't dispute the idea that they might be but they aren't actively spying.

Vivi22:
This is why the NSA spying electronically doesn't work to keep Americans safe from the terrorism they claim they're fighting against. When you can be beaten by type writers and snail mail, you're useless. Especially when everyone knows this, including the people you're protecting against.

I doubt any of the spying that's going on is to primarily keep us safe.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/14/gchq-tools-manipulate-online-information-leak

It's just as I feared. It's about control. Also wouldn't it be crazy if a luddite-like movement grew out of all this? People everywhere using old typewriters and pen and paper and word of mouth. Makes you realize that maybe at this stage of mankind's history we aren't really ready to be so hyper connected.

Thing I learned today: Germany has a political party called the Christian Democrats.

I wonder if it's as religious as its name implies, or if it's just a historical leftover.

It's always so ironic when Americans say 'oh but they spy on us too' yea but we spend like 1/1000th of what you do on our secret services in comparison to the GDP (Which means you spend even more than even that) If we spy on you just as much for that much less 'and' we don't get caught doing it, well.. Then your secret services are very incompetent.

And truth be told, looking at them. They aren't. We just aren't spying on the U.S to the same degree as they are spying on everybody else. We spend our money on more important stuff like, food and healthcare. Things the U.S Money would be far better off being spent on than the NSA or CIA or FBI.

Steve the Pocket:
Thing I learned today: Germany has a political party called the Christian Democrats.

I wonder if it's as religious as its name implies, or if it's just a historical leftover.

The actual name of the party is 'Christian Democratic Union', and yes, it's for the most part a leftover from the founding days of the party back in the 1940s. They're basically your run of the mill conservative party, though they've left a few of their socially conservative views behind since Angela Merkel (who's from the party) became chancellor.

Steve the Pocket:
Thing I learned today: Germany has a political party called the Christian Democrats.

I wonder if it's as religious as its name implies, or if it's just a historical leftover.

If it's anything like the Dutch Christian Democrats then primarily historical leftover but still the choice of a majority of Christian voters.

I guess the best way to say it is that they believe modern Christian values should inspire laws but not Christianity itself.

Not my party of choice but not one I really have any objections to.

Silly Germans. We've already bugged all your typewriters.

Hagi:

Steve the Pocket:
Thing I learned today: Germany has a political party called the Christian Democrats.

I wonder if it's as religious as its name implies, or if it's just a historical leftover.

If it's anything like the Dutch Christian Democrats then primarily historical leftover but still the choice of a majority of Christian voters.

I guess the best way to say it is that they believe modern Christian values should inspire laws but not Christianity itself.

Not my party of choice but not one I really have any objections to.

You are right on this one. They are basicly the slightly "conservative party" (rightwingish center) to the social democrats leftish-center ideology. Commonly these two are made out to be the main opponents in elections, though fucked if I know the difference between them at this point. The only one I can think of is that the christian democrats sometimes have the odd religious nutjob popping up, while the social democrats sometimes seem to have a few socialists left unpurged. Currently we are ruled by a coalition of those two, leaving the opposition (formed by the green party and the socialist party) at a position were they can't really do much, even if they would work together. Councellor Angela Merkel is in the christian democratic party, btw.

As for the spies: Our gouvernment will flex its muscles towards the USA for a bit, wait till the storm dies down and then do fuck all that would seriously piss of the USA. I have nothing but cynical amusement left for that. When they saw that our entire population was spied uppon they played it down as neccessary and not that bad. But when they learned that the USA also spied on officials (including Merkel) and official services, they started to react. This showed their colours.

This is obviously America's secret plan! Make everyone so paranoid that they get rid of their computers to leave them weak and defenceless then take over the world! You thought you could get away with it?! Well you can't! HA!

Seriously, America, have you stopped trying to stop people hating you?

Kopikatsu:

008Zulu:
I always thought spying was an act of war, maybe break off all diplomatic contact. Or at least they shot the spies. I wonder, what would happen if everyone started spying on America to the same degree America is spying on them?

I'm sure that these countries are also spying on America. Information is too valuable a commodity not to, allies or not. Hell, it's probably even more important to spy on your allies. Especially if they're planning on backstabbing you or stealing information to begin with.

I really hate it when people say this. Nothing against you, of course, I just don't like this line of reasoning.

If they are, there should be consequences. However, there's no evidence to support this. What we KNOW is that the NSA is spying on us, and our allies. They're hurting our ties with other nations, and, despite all this, they can't actually seem to catch any terrorists or foil their plots. Their alienating America, and ironically making it both less free and less safe. The NSA needs to be retired. The American people deserve a reckoning.

I sure hope their typists can both type fast and without mistakes otherwise this plan will cause a bottleneck in their governmental services. Typewriters are not just MS office but analog they are machines which you have o be trained on a lot more than on a keyboard. Also replacement parts manufacturers are not exactly common either so broken units or units with worn out parts would cause even more bottleneck.

Zachary Amaranth:
Silly Germans. We've already bugged all your typewriters.

Germany: "Interesting, Would you like to trade this technology for horseback riding?"

Darks63:
I sure hope their typists can both type fast and without mistakes otherwise this plan will cause a bottleneck in their governmental services. Typewriters are not just MS office but analog they are machines which you have o be trained on a lot more than on a keyboard. Also replacement parts manufacturers are not exactly common either so broken units or units with worn out parts would cause even more bottleneck.

They're not talking about switching the complete government over to typewriters, just the inquiry committee into the NSA spying. Because that's what the NSA bought information of from a double agent. The committee put in place to investigate the spying of the NSA. So meta.

Here is an assortment of facts about this stuff that really anger me as a German:

1.) A few years ago in a survey about half of German companies reported that they leaked know-how and technology.

2.) About half of those companies have no idea HOW their know-how and technology is being siphoned away.

3.) Edward Snowden already flat out stated that the NSA engages in industrial espionage in Germany.

4.) Last year Fareed Zakaria of the Time Magazine wrote that the NSA needed to be so invasive everywhere to protect the USA from industrial espionage.

5.) The USA and Germany are allies.

6.) The German secret service BND is so integrated into the CIA (just like the German military is into the NATO) that it's very unlikely it's actually spying on Americans. At least according to all the experts on the BND.

7.) Did I already mention the USA and Germany are allies?

Fox12:

I really hate it when people say this. Nothing against you, of course, I just don't like this line of reasoning.

If they are, there should be consequences. However, there's no evidence to support this. What we KNOW is that the NSA is spying on us, and our allies. They're hurting our ties with other nations, and, despite all this, they can't actually seem to catch any terrorists or foil their plots. Their alienating America, and ironically making it both less free and less safe. The NSA needs to be retired. The American people deserve a reckoning.

To follow up on this, if we are spying on our allies because we can't trust them or that they are planning to backstab us, then why are we allies? This isn't a new ally of the US, or someone like China which would be more of a rival to us. It's Germany. A nation that we've had great relations with since it's modern founding and similar relations with West Germany before that. Hell, one of our first major treaties with a foreign body as a nation was with Prussia. If after all that, we still can't trust them. Then why call them an ally?

RoonMian:

Here is an assortment of facts about this stuff that really anger me as a German:

This probably doesn't make you feel better but this angers me as an American. You guys have clearly shown to be an Ally and we decided to thank you by spying on every damn thing you're doing because

What I don't get, is that the White House got upset at Merkel for kicking out the CIA chief in Germany for this. I can't imagine why she would be upset at the CIA at all! They only bugged her damn phone and she still just grinned and bore it.

RoonMian:

Darks63:
I sure hope their typists can both type fast and without mistakes otherwise this plan will cause a bottleneck in their governmental services. Typewriters are not just MS office but analog they are machines which you have o be trained on a lot more than on a keyboard. Also replacement parts manufacturers are not exactly common either so broken units or units with worn out parts would cause even more bottleneck.

They're not talking about switching the complete government over to typewriters, just the inquiry committee into the NSA spying. Because that's what the NSA bought information of from a double agent. The committee put in place to investigate the spying of the NSA. So meta.

It sounds like the original leak was a failure of Germany's secret services in regards to counter espionage.

The hard copies that will be made via typewriters can be stolen just as readily by another double agent. Thus its still a dumb idea and a waste of Germany's resources to implement.

They know that won't work, right?


OT: This is just freaking sad at this point. How boneheaded do you have to be to get caught spying on your own ally so hard they want to give up computers entirely? That cannot be good for international relations.

Wouldn't it just be easier to use a cheap computer with its wi-fi and direct network connections destroyed and sub-monthly checks?

Backspaces are nice.

GamerAddict7796:

Seriously, America, have you stopped trying to stop people hating you?

People honestly still believe that people of US are in any way represented by the people who do this?
Approval rating of the federal government is in single digits, if I recall correctly.

And I am not even sure anymore if Feds have much control over NSA anymore. It's a tax-sponsored cancerous growth at this point.

Give them a few months, they'll have the Enigma v5.13 ready and then the Americans will have to get Britain to do the math again.

grey_space:
Obviously they've never played Civ 4. Nothing pisses off your allies more.

what? i played civ 4 for over 400 hours and never once i had an ally pissed for having my spies in thier territory.

They could just use a regular computer, because, you know, there's a reason we went from typewriters to word processors, and ensure it doesn't have any network connectivity to deal with the whole Orwellian thing.

Augustine:

GamerAddict7796:

Seriously, America, have you stopped trying to stop people hating you?

People honestly still believe that people of US are in any way represented by the people who do this?
Approval rating of the federal government is in single digits, if I recall correctly.

And I am not even sure anymore if Feds have much control over NSA anymore. It's a tax-sponsored cancerous growth at this point.

I never said anything about the American people or that this in any way represents them because I don't think it does but America as a country is made to look worse when things like this happen. They should put some effort into giving themselves a better reputation rather than badly spying on their own allies.

Hero in a half shell:
It would appear the employment future's looking bright for the Navajo Indians:

http://www.utm.edu/staff/jmiller/honors2005/11silko/christaww2.htm

I suppose in the UK we could just employ scousers to do the same thing.

Nah, some people can follow what scousers are saying. What we need are geordies, but then again I'm still unconvinced even they can understand each other.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here