Is NSA Surveillance Leading To Boom In Fountain Pen And Typewriter Industries?

todayJuly 12, 2013 4

share close

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – So you think that you’re sending encrypted files and that no one can crack the code so you’re not worried about it.  I’ll send this over there.  It’s perfectly safe and secure.  Lo and behold, Microsoft has handed the keys to the encryption over to the government.  They claim that the government ordered them to do so and that under the law they have to comply.  I’d like to know who wrote said law.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest…


Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  Glenn Greenwald writing yesterday:


Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption.


[end reading]

republican-shirt-ifyouhavetoask1Mike:  So you think that you’re sending encrypted files and that no one can crack the code so you’re not worried about it.  I’ll send this over there.  It’s perfectly safe and secure.  Lo and behold, Microsoft has handed the keys to the encryption over to the government.  They claim that the government ordered them to do so and that under the law they have to comply.  I’d like to know who wrote said law.  Is this one of these little codicils that’s contained in that devious monstrosity known as the Patriot Act?  Is this one of those codicils that’s contained in that other devious monstrosity known as the NDAA?


The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal…

For the rest of today’s transcript please sign up for a Founders Pass or if you’re already a member, make sure you are logged in!
[private FP-Yearly|FP-Monthly|FP-Yearly-WLK]

[end reading]

Mike:  We have to have this because we have to be able to intercept web chats.  So, AG, that means that the chats you and I have every day, although I’m not on a Microsoft client.  You are, though, aren’t you?

AG:  I guess so, yeah.

Mike:  I’m on a Mac, but I am using, they call it iChat on a Mac.  I’m not going to worry about it, I’ll just start sending my things via snail mail.  I can’t even trust that.  Now I have to start using FedEx to take the mail.


The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail.

The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide.

[end reading]

Mike:  Microsoft has opened up all of its services, all of its storage data and facilities, it seems, to the United States’ National Security Agency.  Just as we talked about here on Tuesday’s broadcast, we now know that the government of the United States is spying on the entire known universe.  If you are a Native American Alaskan in the Aleutian Island chain, you’re being spied upon.  If you’re a Canadian Dudley Do-Right-type, you’re being spied upon.  When I was in Scotland, the barkeeps and bar matrons were being spied upon.  Name your location on this Earth and our government is reading what it is, or has the potential to read what it is, that we’re doing.  I think the Russians are onto something here.  I have another story.  Andrew, did you see this one, “Kremlin returns to typewriters to avoid computer leaks”?  Do you and Evan even know what a typewriter is?

AG:  Barely.

Mike:  Have you ever put your fingers on a, not a computer keyboard, an actual typewriter keyboard?  Did you ever have to write a report for school that you actually had to peck out on a typewriter?

AG:  I can’t say I’ve ever had to write one for school, no.

Mike:  So you’ve never used a typewriter?  Ask young Evan if he’s ever used a typewriter.

AG:  He has not either.

Mike:  I’m old enough to have actually used a typewriter.  Not only have I used a typewriter, I’ve actually used several different brands of typewriter.  I used to go shopping for typewriters.  Before you guys were probably even born, back in the mid-80s or so, typewriters got really fancy.  You know how you carry your MacBook around with you to work these days?  You don’t bring your MacBook to work, but probably when you travel in New York you take it with you.

AG:  I did take it with me, yeah.

Mike:  You probably put it in a backpack or something to that effect.  Back in the day before there were MacBooks, you would take your typewriter.  It came in its own case.   It didn’t look like a typewriter when it was in its case.  It had a nice little handle on it and they made them to be not so heavy and clunky to carry around.  The electrical cord would stuff up inside underneath the bottom of the typewriter.  It was actually pretty convenient.  You could take your typewriter wherever you were going, plunk it down on the desk, plug it in, and bammo, you’ve got a typewriter.  At the end of the typewriter era, they actually had typewriters that could remember things.  You could hit a key combination and it would type your name.  It would type Andrew Gruss out for you if you wanted it to instead of having to peck it away.  Apparently the Russkies, they must be fearing the Russian version of Microsoft.


A source at Russia’s Federal Guard Service (FSO), which is in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications and protecting President Vladimir Putin, claimed that the return to typewriters has been prompted by the publication of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website, as well as Edward Snowden, the fugitive US intelligence contractor.

[end reading]

Mike:  You know, folks, this may be the wave of the future.  We may actually have to return to quill pen and parchment soon.  I talked to somebody at Office Depot yesterday.  Yes, I do my own office supply shopping.  I talked to a cat at Office Depot yesterday because I had to go in and buy some ink for one of my fountain pens.  I have several fountain pens that I carry with me and I use fountain pens exclusively, unless I run out of ink like I did two days ago and I had to use one of these stupid rollerball pens that I hate.

So I went to Office Depot to go stock up on little cartridges of India ink for my fountain pen.  I couldn’t find the one I was looking for so I went and asked someone to render some assistance.  He informed me that I was not the first person that had been there that day seeking fountain pen ink.  I said: Really?  He said: Yeah, we’re selling an awful lot of pens these days.  I said: Seriously?  He goes: Yes, people aren’t just buying the disposable ones, the Bic click pens you throw away or the rollerball with the gel handles.  People are buying the nice ones, the ones you keep in your pocket and carry around with you.  I just thought to myself: Wait a minute, has all of this surveillance and spying actually caused people to have to relearn how to write cursive or to relearn how to carry a notebook around with you?  You have to imagine that if you have a smartphone and you’re using the cloud — do either one of you use the cloud?  You’re on an iPhone now.  Are you subscribed to the cloud, like you load your messages and mail so it syncs up with your Mac at home?

AG:  I am not that sophisticated to do that.

Mike:  You’re lucky.  That’s a good thing.  Tell Evan to do that, too.  I don’t use the cloud either.  If you’re using the cloud, you’re storing your data — I’m under no delusion this is a precaution, by the way — at a central location owned somewhere by Apple computer.  When you want to sync your devices up, it goes: Oh, that one is more new than this one.  Let’s transfer and download this one to this device.  Now everybody is in sync and happy.  Just imagine if your cloud device is a Microsoft cloud device.  That means your schedules, notes, all the things you’re doing could be subject to some prying eyes from the NSA looking at what it is you’re doing.

Maybe it behooves you now, instead of storing it up there on the cloud, that you get one of these things — how many of you people are old enough to remember — talk about a walk in the park.  Somebody send me a tweet or an email.  How many of you are old enough to know what a Day Timer is?  A Day Timer is not a clock, by the bye.  A Day Timer is a wallet, a large wallet.  If you’re a guy you probably would carry it in your inner breast pocket in your blazer.  A Day Timer had in it room for your money, your credit cards and what have you.  It also had room to tuck a nice fountain pen on the spine.  It had these little books you could insert.  You get one book per month.  It would have a little calendar in there.  You could go day by day, hour by hour.  You could write down your appointments and phone numbers, a little address book gizmo.  It had a year-at-a-glance calendar that you could do big, long-term planning with.  Your Day Timer had everything you needed in it, and it wasn’t that large.  I suppose there were probably dress slacks you could fit the Day Timer into, but it’s not the size of a business card holder today.  It’s probably about the size of one of those Samsung, what do they call those oversized phones?  That’s how big a Day Timer was.

They may have to bring Day Timers back.  We may have to go analog because we can’t trust the Feds and you can’t trust any government out there from not snooping on and collecting your data.  Some people might say: Mike, if they’re not using it, if they’re not doing this and that with it, why do you care?  That’s like saying they have cameras in our bedrooms and they’re watching all of us at night, and they’re not telling us that they’re watching us, but it’s okay because no one ever says they did anything with the lurid video they obtained or stored of Mr. and Mrs. Smith last night, just to make an analogy.


The FSO is looking to spend 486,000 roubles – around £10,000 – on a number of electric typewriters . . .

[end reading]

Mike:  That’s what we’ve come to now, folks.  How long before we have to start sending smoke signals.  How long before survival guide people out there are giving lessons on sending smoke signals?  [mocking] Don’t risk your secure messages.  If you live in the same town with someone you’re trying to securely communicate with, learn the ancient art of the smoke signal.”

End Mike Church Show Transcript


typewriter_girl NSA

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
author avatar

Written by: AbbyMcGinnis

Rate it

Post comments (0)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x