Source: Media Trends
If one day, while you’re walking on the street, you find a USB embedded in a wall, be happy, because you are in front of a “Dread Drops”: one of the thousands of custom USB hidden around the world created to share information without Internet control.
This way is inspired by the system used by spies to exchange information on a secret place, without the need to meet.
But this current “Dead Drops” is more recent: in 2010, the German Aram Bartholl invented a formula to create an anonymous P2P network to allow the exchange of information and files without the need to connect to the Internet. He hid 5 pendrives around New York City. Look how he did it!
Two years later, in 2012, there were already 800 “Dead Drops” embedded in wals around the world (from Senegal to Tasmania including China, Japan, Kazakhstan or Iceland). Nowadays, there are thousands of “Dead Drops “ around the world.
What’s “Dead Drops” all about?
Nothing can be easier than creating a “Dead Drops”: a hole on a wall is made, the custom USB pen is embedded exposing the connector, it is sealed with cement and that’s it! Everybody can be connected!
It is said the personalized USB drive must be empty, only must have a file to explain what is “Dead Drops” and its aim. And it must be always in a place that is accessible to everybody, absolutely outwards and public.
Once it is made, the place where it is placed the memory it must be told to the website deaddrops.com so users can find it.
From that moment, anyone can connect his/her computer to the promotional flash drives and exchange as many files and information as s/he wants (music, pictures, films…).
No digital footprint
These files, as they are not shared by the Internet, don’t leave any digital finger print, which is a change in a world increasingly worried by the technologic invasion and the lack of privacy of citizens and where finding other ways to share files outside the Internet could be the key for the freedom of information.
“We need to raise again the freedom and the circulation of information” – Aram Bartholl, project initiator.
Also, many are using this system to share downloads, as Internet is not used, the Download Law is not violated.
But, be careful: some “Dead Drops” with malicious code or misleading information have been found. That precisely happened in 2015, where an investigation carried out by the German newspaper Express revealed that one of the custom USB pen embedded in a wall in Kölln (Germany) included instructions about how to manufacture a bomb. The PDF at issue also included chemical formulas to manufacture synthetic drugs such as amphetamines.
Map of these USB memories
Nowadays, there are thousands of external memories around the world. More specifically, while writing this e-mail, its website counts 1,649 “Dead Drops” around the world, storing 12,101GB (more than 12TB).
The US are not an exception and this tendency is also arriving to our country. In fact, if you want to know where your nearest “Dead Drops” is found, the official website offers a map were you can consult cities where they are found. Cities such as London or Brighton are places where these pendrives can be found.
Will you be the next person to place a “Dead Drops” in your city? Tell us!