In response to Edward Snowden’s leaks of NSA spying on Americans, a designer and former NSA contractor found a creative way to protect privacy.
This video explains how the different fonts work:
“I decided to create a typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software (whether used by a government agency or a lone hacker),” Mun told CNN via email, “misdirecting information or sometimes not giving any at all.”
Mun, who worked with the NSA during his time in the Korean military, says that a number of global developments motivated him to act: “The news about the NSA secretly building the country’s biggest data center; the House passing the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA); the social network media accumulating abundant information on every individual’s life; Google announcing its work-in-progress Glass project — and the list goes on.”
“Sometimes these ideas about privacy can feel large and abstract to the average person. I thought that addressing these issues through the design of a typeface — a building block of language and communication — would bring home the conversation to the average person,” Mun says.
The four different fonts — Camo, False, Noise and Xed — were developed through a rigorous process of drawing a testing, Mun says: “The challenge was to make the OCR legible typeface illegible to computer vision, while keeping it readable to the human eye.”