7 votes

A Typeface to Thwart NSA Surveillance


Long before Edward Snowden leaked the Prism documents, Sang Mun served two years of mandatory service for the Korean military, gathering intelligence under the NSA. He didn’t choose to publish any classified documents, but he’s encouraging a counter-surveillance revolution in his own way: by designing ZXX a typeface to thwart prying eyes.

More Info and Download Link at Co.DESIGN

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Learn how to truly keep your information safe

Check out the short post I wrote if you really want to keep your information private.

Ron Paul - Intellectual hero

This won't work (cont...)

the ONLY way to protect against electronic surveillance is to use strong encryption. Ill write up a new post to help give you guys some easy to use programs and techniques that will help protect against the majority of prying eyes.

Ron Paul - Intellectual hero

Neat, but won't work at all.

Maybe for OCR - but that's not how the NSA functions - they consume everything that is digital. CAT is still CAT no matter what font you use... Times, Arial or Wingdings.

I do find it interesting that the human eye/mind can read the words when the individual letters look like abstract shapes.

Yuor rhgit it is azmanig taht

Yuor rhgit it is azmanig taht we can siltl raed wrdos eevn wehn all ltetres are msesed up.

If you designed flat image posters using the font with no text being "scannable" it may prove useful. Of course, if you hit the "M" key, that's what get's picked up in the meta data, not the symbol it produces on screen.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Exactly right, this wont work. But it's good publicity.

Being a programmer I know this wont work. The bits behind your typeface won't be scrambled at all. The typeface is what you call 'client side rendering'. Meaning an app or webpage or you on your computer can change the font text is rendered in, but it doesn't change the bits being stored. It might only work on printed documents.

Ron Paul - Intellectual hero

Being a graphic designer myself

no surprise a programmer can find the perfect way to describe the technicalities :)

Pretty much all "they" have to do is download the font and add it to their character database. I'm sure it's already done.

But as a form of ART, it can serve as a great visual tool to express the desired message of anti-surveillance.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


Nothing wrong with that brother I'm all for it. :)

Ron Paul - Intellectual hero

not only that but....

now they have the font. Not only that, they have OCR that can overcome this and then correct the misspellings for you. It's child's play for our crypto people to develop software that can read this...in like a few days time. We already have software that will unscramble letter-scrambled words, that's laughably easy.

If we only communicate with randomly generated captchas they wouldn't know what's being said but then neither would we.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.