Germans. Splendid fellows. If you want a car designed or a bridge built, ask a German - any one of them will do; they're all terrifically smart and jolly hard workers to boot.
So when German politicians follow Russia's example and ditch their computers for typewriters, a chap's gotta sit up and take notice.
On arrival at a recent spying committee meeting, the members were all instructed to put their laptops, tablets and mobile phones into a metal box to prevent outside eavedropping - yes, even their Blackberries (both of them).
Then, in a scene reminiscent of something John Le Carré might have written, the committee chairman Patrick Sensburg put some music on - Edvard Grieg's piano concert in A-minor, according to a precision-engineered report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung - just to further confuse any yankee eavesdroppers.
Shorn of the usual toys to keep idle fingers fiddling, the meeting no doubt wrapped up in record time.
Such is the hysteria surrounding US spying in Germany that Sensburg said that German politicians were even considering a return to typewriters. After all, who knows what eavesdropping jiggery pokery lurks inside the average PC or tablet computer?
Alternatively, perhaps they can consider buying up second-hand stocks of old Amstrad PCs, NC-200 notebook computers and Psion modems on eBay?
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