Introducing the NSA-proof font

Sang Mun built a disruptive typeface that's "designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way."

Tech

Published Jun 24, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 12:52 pm CDT

At a moment when governments and corporations alike are hellbent on snooping through your personal digital messages, it’d sure be nice if there was a font their dragnets couldn’t decipher. So Sang Mun built one.

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Sang, a recent graduate from the Rhode Island Schoold of Design (RISD), has unleashed ZXX—a “a disruptive typeface” that he says is much more difficult to the NSA and friends to decrypt. He’s made it free to download on his website, too. 

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“The project started with a genuine question: How can we conceal our fundamental thoughts from artificial intelligences and those who deploy them?” he writes. “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. It can be applied to huge amounts of data, or to personal correspondence.”

He named it after the Library Congress’s labeling code ZXX, which archivists employ when they find a book that contains “no linguistic content.”

He built six different styles (Sans, Bold, Camo, False, Noise, and Xed), each of which is “designed to thwart machine intelligences in a different way.”

See them in action below:

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Read the full story on Motherboard. 

By Brian Merchant | Photo via http://z-x-x.org/

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*First Published: Jun 24, 2013, 8:00 am CDT