Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage | World news | The Guardian
Espionage has been around a long time, and continually evolved with the new technology. It is kind of interesting to see the Russians and the Germans going back to typewriters. All three of us Germany, Soviets, and the US, as well as Japan, France, England, almost any countries Intel could read what was being typed on a typewriter from a distance. In fact if the target was important enough a system would be fine tuned to actually type out what the person was typing in real time. One of the nice things about Governments is they tended to standardize on a typewriter, and the best typewriters would always go to the important folks, all the important folks. You could actually get an idea of how important a target was at times by the sound the typewriter made.
I remember running around the White House and the rest of the 18 acres looking for typewriters that could be easily compromised. Every Govt. Agency and the DOD was doing the same. The reason we knew to do this is because we had so much success in these espionage attacks. Even ones that are not electric could be hit with some fairly easy sound sensors.
I would imagine a lot of the intel agencies out there around the world are dusting off some old sound sensors, if fact some are probably checking to see if some of the old ones are still in place. That is the nice thing about microphones, they last for ever, the biggest issue would be have they been painted over to many times to still work.
As always nothing I am talking about is new to the world at large, in this case an old book called Spooks, and two others including the Puzzle Palace have all gone quite deeply into these exploit's. Snowden is not one of my sources, but I will say it is irritating that he is telling the Russians and Chinese things when they are doing the same to us, his biggest naivety is that he seems to think only the US does this, when in actuality the Chinese and former Soviets had, have and are developing systems of their own. It is like telling Merkle that we had her phone, if the Germans do not have Obama's phone, it is only because they have not succeeded yet.
The key is you do not talk about it, but Snowden thinks he is helping, helping who, the Soviets had folks in our State Department, CIA, FBI, in fact have had people in our NSA before. Most of my espionage work in the government was more criminal than espionage, like wire taps and hidden microphones, tape recorders, cameras and the needed alarm bypass and lock picking. But it was all good background for my critical work of Counter Espionage. If you ever want to know the business find an old Gene Hackman film called The Conversation. A little dry, but you will never listen to a lonely saxophone the same way again.