Photographs of island holidays used as containers for covert re-distribution of canonical NSA and GCHQ Leaks, 2015

Oliver, 2015


COVER ME positions Creative Commons licensed photographs found on Flickr as data containers for distributing the canonical leaks of Edward Snowden ‘in plain sight’, both on and offline.

Using a method known as as steganography, the volatile data is embedded into images matching ‘island getaway’ and ‘beach paradise’, a comforting counter-balance to the bleakness and anxiety enshrouding the NSA and GCHQ leaks.

Referred to by computer scientists as a ‘cover file’, the photograph containing the data payload is not visibly altered, allowing for it to be distributed as tasteful work-and-family-safe material, used as desktop backgrounds or uploaded back to Flickr. At any given point along its journey leaks can be conveniently and privately extracted from images onto a personal computer, using a simple, cross-platform program.

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