Can you imagine walking down the street and finding a USB memory embedded in a wall or wall? No, it does not mean that you have gone crazy, if not that you have come across one of the thousands of USBs hidden around the world. This hobby has a name. It is called “dead drop” and consists of placing USB drives in public spaces with the intention of creating an anonymous P2P network , which allows the physical exchange of files without the need to be connected to the Internet.
The inventor of the dead drop was the German artist Aram Bartholl, who in 2010 began to hide the first five USB sticks in New York . In six years this curious phenomenon has evolved, and there are currently more than 1,600 in the world, with a storage capacity that is about to reach 12,000 gigabytes (12 terabytes). If you want to know if there is one in your town or nearby, you can consult the map that appears on their website . In Spain there are still very few and we counted about fourteen, most of them are in Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Anyone can create a dead drop, you just have to make a hole in a wall and embed the pendrive, leaving the connector part visible. It is necessary to seal with mass or cement so that it is well attached. The memories have to be empty when they are to be placed, only the file that explains the project must be included. The important thing is that they are always located in a public place so that everyone who wishes can access them (parks, little-traveled streets ...). The next step will be to inform the deaddrops.com website of the exact place where the USB has been placed so that anyone can go, connect their computer and start the file exchange.
The project is designed so that anyone who wishes can leave the files they consider (music, images, movies, curious news…) on the pendrives and that someone else can download them. As it is not a system that is connected to the Internet, as is the case with file-sharing programs such as uTorrent , the authorities cannot intervene. The anti-piracy law is not being violated. What we advise you, in case you are willing to participate, is that you have a good antivirus installed on your computer. You could come across USB drives infected with malicious code, unfortunately that is part of the game.
As we said before, there are currently more than 1,600 USB sticks scattered around the globe and located in various places. For example, in Spain we could find one in a historic complex in Seville or in the busy Goya street in Madrid . The Spanish towns with the most flash drives would be Catalonia and the Basque Country (with four each), although the number is expected to grow over time. And you, would you dare to participate in this project? If you are willing, you can tell us your impressions in the comments section.