PirateBox: anonymous, stand-alone wireless filesharing node

David Darts sez, "I've just created a self-contained mobile collaboration and P2P file sharing device called the PirateBox.PirateBox is a self-contained mobile collaboration and P2P file sharing device. Simply turn it on to transform any space into a free and open P2P file sharing network. Inspired by pirate radio and the free culture movement, PirateBox utilizes Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) to create mobile wireless file sharing networks where users can anonymously share images, video, audio, documents, and other digital content. PirateBox is designed to be private and secure. No logins are required and no user data is logged. Users remain completely anonymous - the system is purposely not connected to the Internet in order to subvert tracking and preserve user privacy."

PirateBox (Thanks, David!)


    1. It’s a open (no wep or wpa) WIFI with a file server on the LAN you connect into. You simply view a samba/windows share on the network.

  1. I’ve been considering something like this, but hidden in plain view. Like a box for hosting BitTorrent trackers or Tor nodes that was disguised as a lamp, wall wart, or in the electronics of an AC unit.

    One could setup a p2p server that piggybacks off free wifi and stolen power, without the owners of the building ever knowing.

  2. Damn kids nowadays, back in my time, we had to make do with a shoebox full of discs that went from friend to friend’s houses for a weekend… and we liked it!

  3. Er, wouldn’t it just be easier to stand up and shout “is anyone interested in my porn collection? I’ll swap lesbian for foot fetish”.
    I don’t see the point unless it’s illicit data in which case I wouldn’t trust a free service not to be a honey trap that logs my MAC address and the the police take (seize) my laptop when I leave the area to find out what I shared.

  4. I like this idea, but I can see this being mistaken as a bomb and blown up by some overzealous law enforcement if it was left in a public place. I suggest painting it pink.

    1. It’s not very well explained in the write-up, but basically you run the software, and it turns your computer into a mini server. If you hook your computer up to a wireless router, now any computer or mobile device in the area can access your local wireless network. They won’t be on the “internet,” they’ll just be on a mini network between the computers.

      When you go to the appropriate URL on that network, you’ll be presented with some kind of interface for sharing files. Any computer on the network can access these files.

      I could see this being useful in a hackspace or other space where you’re reasonably sure you know everyone and no one’s malicious.

  5. Hollywood will just tell congress to make a police force for hunting down “Rogue Transmitters”, then use simple propaganda to convince everyone who lives 100 miles from the ocean, or 50 miles from a city that people who download were involved in the 9/11 attacks. The authorities are always one step behind, sure, but, you trip and you’re dead…

    Love the ingenuity here though.

  6. Beautiful idea.

    I agree that it should probably be called a “Togetherness Unicorn Pony Box” and be painted pink and blue to soothe the billy club bunch and avoid unfortunate incidents. I also like the idea of a less conspicuous, wall-wart version. The Guru Plug looks like a candidate if they can solve the heat problem.

  7. What’s the difference between this and just having a dropbox account on a laptop, with guest (no password) access to a public folder?

    I guess, to answer my own question, the laptop records mac addresses of the logins? Is there more to it?

  8. Ah, excellent, and just as I predicted five years ago! This device appears to be a primitive ancestor of the “bean” (but I agree a much better name would be “Togetherness Unicorn Pony Box”):

    “Mary’s main device is her “index.” This is a device the size of a mobile phone which is designed mainly to let her “mine” media and information. She gets this information not from the commercial networks, or even the non-commercial one. She gets it from tiny storage devices that litter her world. On desks, glove compartments, swimming pools, the garden, inside clothes or made into jewellery. These are the “beans” of data given to her by friends, handed out in pubs, clubs or at fuel stations, written by the indexes of others, or other devices. Everywhere you go, there are beans nestling, mostly out of view, somewhere.”


  9. I don’t know about you, but that seriously could confuse any person to thinking thats a bomb.

    My two cents, change the case. lol

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