Zero-Width Characters: Invisibly fingerprinting text

Journalists watch out—you may be unintentionally revealing sources.

Countermeasures for journalists or others engaged with leakers, in decreasing order of effectiveness:

  • Avoid releasing excerpts and raw documents.
  • Get the same documents from multiple leakers to ensure they have the exact same content on a byte-by-byte level.
  • Manually retype excerpts to avoid invisible characters and homoglyphs.
  • Keep excerpts short to limit the amount of information shared.
  • Use a tool that strips non-whitelisted characters from text before sharing it with others.