In light of the recent revelations about the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs, designer Sang Mun has created a font that can't be read by machines -- and has made it free for anyone to download.
Sang, who recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, developed a font for his final project called ZXX, a code that denotes "no linguistic content" in the Library of Congress' coding system for book languages. Sang's website offers six versions of the font, four of which are unreadable by text-scanning software.
But the fonts are primarily meant to raise awareness about the NSA. As Brian Merchant on Motherboard notes, the font is "expressly political" and "won't work as an effective encryption method." Sang does not keep his political views hidden: "Government and corporations’ physical, mental, and technological intrusions must stop in order to halt the surveillance state," he wrote on his blog.
Sang was formerly part of the Korean military, working as special intelligence personnel for the NSA. "Our ability to gather vital SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) information was absolutely easy," he wrote. "But, these skills were only applied outwards for national security and defense purposes — not for overseeing American citizens." Now, he says, "it appears that this has changed."
See Sang's six versions of ZXX in action in the slideshow below.