Obscure Text

I love instant messaging. I love it for keeping up with personal contacts and as a work tool. I keep in touch with old coworkers and friends and occasionally have need to call on their help for something I’m doing at work. So when a friend of mine once responded in a panic to my IMs because he was worried about his network managers scraping through data for inappropriate things I was a little shocked. I mean, normal computer lingo is filled with naughty-sounding terms. It’s intentional, and even an innocent conversation could land him in trouble.

No worries, though. Even though we couldn’t encrypt our IM’s, I could build a simple solution to get around keyword flagging. I called it Obscure Text. It works on the same principle as captcha’s. Humans are good at reading things, even things that aren’t really clear. By replacing normal characters with other unicode characters that look roughly the same, we get human readable text that will pass right through simple searches by a machine.

Points to the lit-nerd who can name the place where I pulled my Lorem Ipsum filler text.

Source & Project

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