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FSB Upgrades from iPads to Pricey Typewriters

The Federal Security Service paid over 2 million rubles ($67,000) for an order of nearly 100 typewriters, or about 22,000 rubles per machine, the marker.ru news site reported.

The machines are thoroughly modern, with interchangeable heads that allow for easy switching between Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, the FSB said. The security service did not clarify why it did not purchase computers, which have similar functionality and sell for comparable prices.

In June 2010, the FSB began ordering iPads even before the gadgets were officially released in Russia, following the lead President Dmitry Medvedev, who acquired his first iPad in April 2010.

 Internet security analyst Ilya Sachkov expressed confusion about the move in an interview with marker.ru, saying that he had never seen typewriters used even while visiting top secret facilities in the United States. Modern security for digital information is more than sufficient for guaranteeing safety, he said.

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