NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.
It's no secret that the NSA has been in the news a lot lately, and none of it has been for nice things like helping little old ladies cross the street. With allegations that the United States has been spying on everyone from its own citizens to leaders of foreign countries, distrust of the secret organization has been on the rise, and people are looking for solutions to stay out of the agency's crosshairs.
Germany may be going just a little too far with their paranoia though. The Guardian reports that, according to an interview with Morgenmagazin TV, the country is looking into scrapping all electronic communication for their sensitive information and will instead use typewriters. When pressed about this, German politician Patrick Sensburg said, "As a matter of fact, we have -- and not electronic models either." Still not convinced this wasn't a hoax, the interviewer asked for confirmation to which Sensburg responded, "Yes, no joke."
Strangely enough, Germany is not the first country to consider this switch. Last year, the Russian government was contemplating a switch back to typewriters, but for a different reason: The type pattern for each machine is unique, letting the government know which typewriter and possibly which typist was responsible for a leak. Indeed, they planned on spending £10,000 on the devices.
Next up: Replacing cell phones with a pair of cans and a string.