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Disclaimer: This is a thought-experiment and I have no intention of releasing any data this way, nor do I have any interesting data to release.


Let's say that a person wants to share data anonymously in a way that people can download the data without it linking back to the source. Let's say the data wasn't illegally obtained, it's not illegal to hold a copy of the data (at least in the US and Europe), the data is of general interest to the public, and it's a modest size (on the order of 1GB).

The typical data-releasing ideas aren't appropriate:

  • pastebin has an upload max of 0.5 MB

  • github, datahub.io, etc all require registration of some sort. I could create fake accounts and fake email addresses, but let's say that requires too much effort or I'm too paranoid.

  • wikileaks wouldn't be interested. Let's say it's not whistle-blower data or anything even close to being controversial.

  • anonymous uses torrents, which could work, except let's say the person doesn't want to get involved with darknet stuff.

What are some ways a person can anonymously release data that doesn't track back to the source?

  • 1
    bit bucket comes to mind, but i'm not 100% on if signup is required – albert Apr 13 '15 at 16:34
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    Bittorrent isn't darknetty. I use bittorrent all the time for legitimate large files: here and here are just a couple examples. This is what Bittorrent was for, not crime. – PyRulez Apr 14 '15 at 0:44
  • @PyRulez - I agree that torrents are probably the best option. Can you post an answer that puts some links together on how to do it? – philshem Apr 14 '15 at 7:20
  • There are two possible definitions of 'source' here. (1) the person who obtained and subsequently released the data, or (2) the person or group from which the data was initially obtained. What steps you would take would be dramatically different depending on which one you're trying to obscure. – Joe Apr 14 '15 at 11:24
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The OP says he is fine with Bittorrent now. After all, Bittorrent was made for large files (outlawing Bittorrent would be like outlawing bombs.) Now, how to do it. First of all, Bittorrent isn't anonymous (again the creators had only one task in mind), so you will need a proxy or something. Now, create the torrent file. Now the torrent file itself will be small (a couple megabytes I think) so it would fit in a paste.

  • I'd like to accept this answer, but can you first expand on the links a little bit? Also, what are some ideas to publicize the torrent that don't track back to me? – philshem Apr 18 '15 at 15:44
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Travel to an anonymous location, place a radio, and play the file on loop. One such system is OneBeep. To make it go faster:

  • Use a bunch of radios
  • Use all the frequencies you can
  • Don't leave your finger prints on the radios
  • Although not explicitly stated, I'm pretty sure the question is about sharing data on the Internet. @philshem, could you please clarify? – Patrick Hoefler Apr 14 '15 at 9:58
  • @PatrickHoefler Are you sure? – PyRulez Apr 14 '15 at 10:47
  • No, that's why I asked for clarification. However, if the question was not about releasing open data on the Internet, I'm not even sure if it would be on topic here. – Patrick Hoefler Apr 14 '15 at 10:56
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    @PatrickHoefler Yes, data should be downloadable on the internet. – philshem Apr 14 '15 at 11:08

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