Sneakernets and Un-clouding your Files

We do so much online and endlessly sync to the clouds.  There are still alternatives that, in some situations, are better left to the sneakernet–the IRL physical movement of mass storage from one computer to the next via USB sticks and the like.  It’s said that the sneakernet is often used in places like Iran where trying to access the Tor Project from your computer could get you on a watchlist or worse.  People physically share the tor-bundle installer and teach each other how to bypass the censors.  Use Tor’s obfsproxy and the censors don’t stand a chance.

We know that every packet we send online is logged somewhere, our emails being scanned by bots, etc.  So what if we share our music, apps, and films the old-fashioned way by trading TB harddrives?  There’s something quaint about it.


This brings me to dead drops which is a project that puts flash drives in the physical space.

You bring your netbook and plug in to the stash.  I would insist that you either use your linux laptop or have really good antivirus though!   What music or films or files will you share?


I love the idea of getting access to music I never would have found out about otherwise.  I mean, if they care enough to share it, it must be good, right?!

Lastly, we have pirateboxes which are self-contained file-sharing darknets.  You connect as you would a wireless network, but instead of a welcome to starbucks portal page, you see the means to sharing and accepting files from the piratebox.  Think of all the books, creative commons music, and LifeHack PDFs that you can share!  In its newest iterations there is even a chat so you can talk with other people using it locally.

From activism to sharing bad music, un-clouding your files is a way to preserve your privacy.


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