There has been a new, growing trend: people filling up USB drives with random data and then hiding them in random places around the world.
According to Vocativ, the drives can contain anything from food recipes and personal stories to pornography. The trend is based on the espionage concept of dead drop, which is when something is left by one person to be picked up by another person by without them ever having to interact with each other.
Every dead drop USB drive also has a readme.txt file explaining how the concept works.
The idea was started by artist Aram Bartholl, who created the first USB dead drop in New York City. In a recent interview, Bartholl said that people have uploaded a total of 8,945 GB of data to the drops, which is enough information to fill roughly 80 laptops.
Here’s Aram Barholl’s manifesto on his dead drops concept.
Dead Drops is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. Anyone can access a Dead Drop and everyone may install a Dead Drop in their neighborhood/city. A Dead Drop must be public accessible. A Dead Drop inside closed buildings or private places with limited or temporary access is not a Dead Drop. A real Dead Drop mounts as read and writeable mass storage drive without any custom software. Dead Drops don’t need to be synced or connected to each other. Each Dead Drop is singular in its existence. A very beautiful Dead Drop shows only the metal sheath enclosed type-A USB plug and is cemented into walls.You would hardly notice it. Dead Drops don’t need any cables or wireless technology. Your knees on the ground or a dirty jacket on the wall is what it takes share files offline. A Dead Drop is a naked piece of passively powered Universal Serial Bus technology embedded into the city, the only true public space. In an era of growing clouds and fancy new devices without access to local files we need to rethink the freedom and distribution of data. The Dead Drops movement is on its way for change!
Free your data to the public domain in cement! Make your own Dead Drop now! Un-cloud your files today!!!
Why would people use this and not the gazillion other P2P file-sharing sites that are currently on the internet, you ask? As Vocativ notes, the theory is that people just love the thrill of discovering new things. What hasn’t been answered though, is how people can avoid computer viruses while participating in the trend.
Images via Dead Drop