Yet another use for Dropbox?

Posted by Jon Ying on July 17, 2009


We occasionally ask our users to tell us about their Dropbox experiences. While we are continually flattered by people who praise us for rescuing their homework and work presentations, we’re especially touched to be a part of the significant moments of peoples’ lives, whether it be graduations, weddings or births. The Dropbox team is no exception. Though we’ve certainly had our share of rescues-via-Dropbox, we’re still caught by surprise when these moments hit close to home.

Our CTO Arash Ferdowsi was born and raised in America, but his family has roots in Iran. Arash and his family occasionally make trips back to visit, but his aunt and cousins, the Nahids, made the most recent visit to Tehran near the beginning of June. On June 12, the disputed Iranian presidential election results set off a string of protests around the country. At the height of these demonstrations, e-mail, text messaging and web services such as Facebook and Twitter were unavailable. With no other means to communicate with family back in the States, Ms. Nahid then thought to use Dropbox as a solution, which luckily was still accessible. Using a .txt file in a shared folder with family, The Nahids were able to devise a faux messaging system to leave updates about the ongoing situation in Iran and allow others to know they were safe.

We’re relieved to know that the Nahids are alright and also glad that Dropbox was able to pull through as a communication solution for their entire family. As the situation continues, our thoughts and prayers go to the safety of all the people in Iran.

30 Comments to Yet another use for Dropbox?

July 18, 2009

Wow! That is moving! You should feel proud guys. And as I always say to you: keep the good work! :D

July 18, 2009

Amazing, brilliant!

Jorge Martins
July 18, 2009

I realy enjoyed, the fact that you considered it like a beta feature, Congrats :)

July 18, 2009

Thats a great read!. wow, thanks for sharing

July 18, 2009

Loved this. Very clever, and cool use of Dropbox.

July 18, 2009

And since you published this, the Iranian government will probably firewall dropbox soon….

July 18, 2009

Wow that's an amazing story. I wonder though besides his “Dropbox” solution, what else alternative could be done in order to communicate with friends and families across the globe while you're in there (Iran)

Jaka Jancar
July 18, 2009

Wouldn't adding a comment to the Recent events page be easier than a txt file?

July 18, 2009

Sadly this is probably true.

Nikita Hengbok
July 19, 2009

This is fantastic! Love Dropbox!

July 20, 2009

I've set up a special “torrent files” folder in my dropbox that my Linux machine (always plugged in, always running Transmission) watches constantly for incoming files. No matter where I am, I can log into the Dropbox web interface, drop a torrent file in that folder, and the Linux machine sitting in my Brooklyn apartment will immediately start downloading it.

Toasty warm torrents whenever I get home–what more could I want?

July 21, 2009

Like Leo Laporte said upon returning from China, it's hard to stop the flow of information. Even if this method gets blocked, another one is bound to come about. I just hope all societies just realize this and stop trying to spread illusions and propaganda.

July 21, 2009

That's pretty handy. Can't believe the blocked the “normal” avenues but didn't think about the millions of other ways people can communicate.

July 21, 2009

I am in the middle of setting up a seedbox, I'm going to do the exact same thing for it (if I can get db to compile for arm…)

July 22, 2009

cant they access blocked sites through proxies?

July 27, 2009

We a regional Telco/CATV and CellCo have been trying, without any success

to make contact with DropBox in an effort to develop a relationship with them to provide

Back up and Restore Services to our 40K Broadband Wired customers.

I have used both their Product Support Email address as well their Partnership Opps. email

address at least 3 times with no response.

Very interesting that they do not provide a phone number so as (apparently) to avoid getting new


Since your firm is and investor would you be able to make contact and have their Bus Dev. folks Contact me directly via Email:

Jim Aimone

Strategic Analyst


July 29, 2009

They certainly thought that one through before they posted this.

Didn't they?

Mark Essel
July 29, 2009

Any thoughts on using dropbox as part of an open social media architecture? Using a shared data source between nodes information can be shared in real time between all members, like Gwave or P2.

I'd prefer a federated system with an open protocol (Dave Winer, Brian Hendrickson, and others are working on open formats).

Mark Essel
July 29, 2009

Jacomo did you get a hold of them? You can send a twitter message to @drewhouston.

July 29, 2009

I did thank you. Had to go through their Venture Capital group to get


Mark Essel
July 29, 2009

Wonderful, just making sure. I'd hate to see a potential client not able to reach a great company.

July 31, 2009

I'm thinking this will be very useful in China.

August 4, 2009


August 28, 2009

Frustrated by the lack of interesting beer available in the supermarket?

September 4, 2009

Interesting to read.

October 6, 2009

Awesome idea! They also can share the videos with someone in US instead of uploading it directly to youtube which is not accessible from Iran (or hard to upload). The person in the US can upload the videos to youtube.

BTW, hey Arash joon, good job!


George Morrow
October 29, 2009

Wonderful story. Well done!!!

November 4, 2009

I am using the Dropbox in my Linux Ubuntu, and am finding an excellent software.

Fast, useful, simple and practical.

The Dropbox is very good recommends.

An ex-user of dropbox in Iran
May 15, 2011

OK, the Iranian government didn't block dropbox, but the US sanction did. I know this is our (Iranians) fault, I wonder why you guys in dropbox just realized this sanctions NOW?!
Why Now, that we have putted everything in our dropbox and accustomed to it?

February 25, 2012

Is there any chance of adding a new functionality to DB: the ability to add “labels” to documents in a shared file, for brief messages between the sharers that could stay available. A README that indexes all of the documents in a file is a really big job.