Sending and receiving files in a secure manner can be difficult, especially when the users don’t trust the remote servers or cloud service providers in handling their sensitive information. In this article, we would like to give some information on three alternative and secure ways of transferring private information.
1. USB Dead Drops
This method relies on several aspects that are not common among users – physical security of the devices that hold the sensitive information. In most cases, the so-called “dead drops” are done with flash drives or external hard drives placed in a secure location somewhere in the world. The location and time of the “drop” are given to the recipient user via a private communication channel.
In many cases, the devices are placed in covert locations such as walls, trees, public toilets, etc. The locations are often public for faster retrieval of the data.
The devices themselves often feature strong encryption to avoid data theft. This is an anonymous method that conceals the identity of the users and helps to protect their privacy when distributing the content.
The dead drops project began as an experiment, and it quickly gained recognition as a creative way to share personal files. Empty USB flash drives were installed in public locations, and users were encouraged to spread their content to them. Obviously, anti virus and anti spyware products should be used in case dangerous software is copied to them.
But when using it in a more private way this method proves to be very reliable and secure, as only the interested parties know the location and time of the drops. Dead drops do not require network access or authentication, only physical access to the host device.
Visit the Dead Drops official website for more information.
2. Freedom Box
The Freedom Box is a project aiming that helps users to set up their private servers for secure browsing, file transfer, and other applications. The server relies on proven open source technologies running on top of a Debian Gnu/Linux distribution. The creators of the project have made it easy for anyone to download and install the Freedom Box on their computers. The distribution can also be used on the popular development boards such as the Raspberry Pi. One of the Freedom Box’s top features is the ability to create a private cloud service. It is run entirely on the host device and requires only a network connection and user credentials (depending on the set up) for access.
Applications that device owners can use are private communication servers (using the XMPP/Jabber protocol), bookmarks management, conference calls hosting, blog hosting, social network creation, ad blocking, BitTorrent files transfer and others. The Freedom Box can also function as a feature-rich Internet router.
If you want to learn more, have a look through the official documentation.
3. Project Maelstrom
Project Maelstrom is one of the ambitious projects of BitTorrent Inc. that aims to change the way users around the world browse the Internet. Maelstrom is a secure browser that uses peer to peer technology to retrieve web content. The technology allows the browsing of sites using secure protocols (HTTPS) and also features the ability to download copies of sites packaged in torrent files.
This makes browsing the way better as the network connectivity between peers in an organized network offers speedier and more stable transfers in comparison to the traditional method. Project Maelstrom also gives users the ability to browse restricted content by ISP filters or other types of censorship as the sites are retrieved using the Bit Torrent network. The developers of the browser have also created developer tools that help web publishers and programmers to create packaged content for easier retrieval.
Project Maelstrom is still under active development. However Windows users can grab the beta from the official site.