Could Camouflaging Your Text Help Keep the NSA Out of Your Business?
That’s what an ex NSA contractor and designer, Sang Mun, seems to believe. Mun has released several font types under the name ZXX. These font types are Bold, Sans, Camo, False, Noise, and Xed. The reasoning behind the creation of these font types is to trick Opical Character Recognition, or OCR, programs from deciphering messages online. OCR is the most used form of data collection by the NSA and other organizations, so in theory, these font types should keep the NSA from cataloging internet users’ data.The various font types are named the way they are to describe the function they serve.Sans and Bold are classic font types that are easily read by both the naked eye, and OCRs. These are clearly legible, and can be used in conjunction with the various OCR-tricking font types.Camo uses natural vector curves to “camouflage” the text. Munn says “…This is based on animals’ natural vector style camouflaging systems.” Meaning that words are camouflaged with discordant and natural shapes.False is essentially a flipped alphabet in which A is hidden within a larger Z, B within Y, and so on. It is useful because it interrupts the hierarchy that OCRs scan for. The software will recognize a false garbled message and miss the intended one.Noise may be one of the easiest font types to determine the meaning of. It literally adds noise in the form of excess shapes to the letters, disrupting the OCRs process of determining the skeleton of the letter.