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[liberationtech] decloudification: reverting to typewriters?

Lucas Gonze lucas.gonze at gmail.com
Wed Jul 17 10:52:43 PDT 2013


Typewriters are crackable by the NSA, like anything. But it's much
more expensive to crack them than software, because there are
economies of scale with software.

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM, Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joe at cdt.org> wrote:
> Also, there's quite a bit of work on "keyboard emanations" (listening
> to sound from keyboards) which could be applied to typewriters with
> little modification. So these had better be well-swept (against
> listening devices) rooms! Or have tons of typewriters in each room...
> or dynamically realocate the keys on the typewriter (not sure if that's
> possible or practical!). best, Joe
>
> On Wed Jul 17 12:01:00 2013, Griffin Boyce wrote:
>>   If you need something typed, but don't want it to be easily stolen,
>> typewriters would be a good option.  However, if the goal is to prevent
>> leaking, then that's not really going to work.  It's not difficult to xerox
>> something or take a photo and then leak *that*.  Cameras can be very tiny,
>> and portable scanners can be hidden in a jacket pocket or under a pant leg.
>>
>>   Security hasn't disappeared just because we default to using technology.
>>
>>   The Kremlin's a big place though. Ordering just four typewriters doesn't
>> necessarily mean that they've changed security or tactics.  I do have to
>> wonder if they're just replacing other typewriters... or maybe the recent
>> leakstravaganza has made them reconsider their own policies :D
>>
>> ~Griffin
>>
>>
>>
>>   If you need something typed, but don't want it to be easily stolen,
>> typewriters would be a good option.  However, if the goal is to
>> prevent leaking, then that's not really going to work.  It's not
>> difficult to xerox something or take a photo and then leak *that*.
>> Cameras can be very tiny, and portable scanners can be hidden in a
>> jacket pocket or under a pant leg.
>>
>>   Security hasn't disappeared just because we default to using technology.
>>
>>   The Kremlin's a big place though. Ordering just four typewriters
>> doesn't necessarily mean that they've changed security or tactics.  I
>> do have to wonder if they're just replacing other typewriters... or
>> maybe the recent leakstravaganza has made them reconsider their own
>> policies :D
>>
>> ~Griffin
>>
>> --
>> Sent from a tracking device. Please excuse typocetera.
>>
>>
>> --
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>
> --
> Joseph Lorenzo Hall
> Senior Staff Technologist
> Center for Democracy & Technology
> 1634 I ST NW STE 1100
> Washington DC 20006-4011
> (p) 202-407-8825
> (f) 202-637-0968
> joe at cdt.org
> PGP: https://josephhall.org/gpg-key
> fingerprint: BE7E A889 7742 8773 301B 4FA1 C0E2 6D90 F257 77F8
>
>
>
> --
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