Walker design fellow Sang Mung has created a typeface unrecognizable to NSA surveillance

Categories: Politics
A sampling of the typeface. Some styles are 100% readable while others have cloaking elements.
File this under intriguing: In the wake of recent revelations involving the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), Walker Art Center design fellow Sang Mung, a former contractor with the U.S. NSA, says he began to contemplate ways to creatively "articulate our unfreedom." From this exploration into the subjects of surveillance, censorship, and public versus private, he came up with a "disruptive typeface," called ZXX, that cannot be read by artificial intelligence.

It's now available for free download.     

Chank offers free font from Eine

"The project started with a genuine question: How can we conceal our fundamental thoughts from artificial intelligences and those who deploy them? I decided to create a typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software (whether used by a government agency or a lone hacker) -- misdirecting information or sometimes not giving any at all," states Mung via the Walker's blog.

The typeface comes in six cuts. Sans and bold are completely readable by both the human and artificial eye. Meanwhile, Camo and Noise use dots and squiggly lines to shield readability. False utilizes large letters while the smaller letters embedded in each large letter spells out the text. Xed features a cross-stitch pattern over text that is disruptive.

Still having a hard time picturing the type? Imagine Captcha as a font, and you have the right idea. 
Want to try it out? You can download it for free from Mung's website, z-x-x.org (scroll to the right in order to click on the .zip file). You can also learn a little more about the typeface in the brief video below.



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Considering all text on the screen (of a digital device) is derived from standard ASCII or UTF-8 codes this doesn't work because the computer could care less about the font or typeface it only reads the ASCII or UTF-8 codes. One step further, everything is still either a 0 or 1, fonts are just an overlay. "a" will always be 01100001 unless we derive new standards.


What's really crazy is that we'd ever need it.

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