SCP-3993
rating: +46+x
3d_Av_16_St_LinkNYC_station_jeh.JPG

LinkNYC kiosk

Item #: SCP-3993

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3993 is to be sheathed in a waterproof metal and plastic framework. Two 1.4m LCD displays must be attached on both larger sides, displaying rich media advertising. A keyboard and Android tablet is to be fixed on the narrow 'sidewalk' edge, with two USB type-A ports. Care must be taken to render both USB ports, the keyboard, and the tablet totally inoperable.

SCP-3993 must be monitored at all times by a standard surveillance team with access to city and NYPD cameras plus SCP remote imaging. All members of the public who may have connected to SCP-3993's wifi must be logged, and any changes in SCP-3993's form or position should be recorded.

For full containment details, please consult "NYC StarBridge CityLink Kiosk Installation Guide, Revision 4.8".

Note from Principal Researcher Macmillan: New Yorkers might not expect SCP-3993's physical interfaces to work, but we'll have to come up with something else for other cities.

Description: SCP-3993 is a black object measuring 2.8m x 0.9m x 0.3m, composed of an indeterminate, extremely dense material. SCP-3993 appeared on the sidewalk at the intersection of ██rd Street and █ Avenue at 3:32:50am on 2014-04-02, displacing a payphone. Low quality CCTV footage from an adjacent Starbucks revealed no humans or machines were involved in the removal of the payphone or placement of the SCP-3993.

SCP personnel were notified of the object within an hour and immediately staged a vehicular accident at the site, allowing them to erect a containment tent and redirect all public traffic for the following 36 hours.

During this time, SCP-3993 was inspected using portable spectrometers. No harmful materials were detected, but industrial cutting instruments of a type safely usable in metropolitan areas (i.e. no high explosives or lasers) were unable to remove a sample of the object. Removal of the object was not possible due to its high density and weight.

At 2:08:13am and 4:19:42am on 2014-04-03, two identical objects, termed SCP-3993-2 and SCP-3993-3 (the original now termed SCP-3993-1) appeared on sidewalks in Lower Manhattan, also displacing payphones. Similar containment procedures were enacted.

Confronted with the possibility that many more instances of SCP-3993 might materialise in short order, the on-site technical lead (consulting with SCP headquarters via wifi videochat) made an imaginative suggestion: presenting the objects as prototype public internet access points.

Two days later on 2014-04-05, SCP officials (under the guise of the "StarBridge" consortium) met with Mayor de Blasio's staff and proposed a complete replacement of the city's 7,000+ payphones with free, advertising-funded wifi internet communication kiosks. On 2014-04-30, the agreement was made public, with the project named "LinkNYC".

Over the following six months, 238 additional instances of SCP-3993 appeared across Lower Manhattan and Midtown, each successfully sheathed in a LinkNYC kiosk within twelve hours. However, providing the kiosks with the promised gigabit internet connectivity was a much more difficult proposition due to multiple breakdowns in negotiation with Comcast.

This problem was solved, albeit in an unconventional manner, on 2014-10-29:

Phone transcript between SCP Principal Investigator Macmillan, conducting close surveillance of SCP-3993-188 from a nearby Jamba Juice, and SCP Assistant Logistics Director (NY) Wieteska:

Macmillan: Well done, Wieteska! What did you promise them?

Wieteska: What on Earth are you talking about?

Macmillan: Was it the fiber multiplexing tech? Or the femtocell research? Never mind, it's of little consequence. What's important is that I'm now speaking to you through this wifi access point named "Gigabit LinkNYC". Low latency, high bandwidth, really, I'm impressed you -

Wieteska: The Comcast meeting isn't until Friday.

<pause>

Macmillan: So what the ██████ did I just connect to?

A reconstruction of events reveals that 25 minutes prior to this phone call, SCP-3993-1 through 239 simultaneously activated high-power, unprotected 802.11ac internet access points. Each internet kiosk offered a bandwidth of 3.2 gigabits and according to packet tracing, multiple redundant connections to the internet backbone – despite having no physical network connections.

SCP personnel immediately moved to contain the wifi access points with Faraday cages (a hurried press release claiming "upgrades" was issued). The cages did not completely block the access points; instead, they merelly reduced effective wifi range by 62%; SCP physicists theorised that SCP-3993 was employing a neutrino-based quantum tunnelling effect to maintain its connection. Increasing the thickness of the cage 1.4m reduced range by 98%, but this was deemed to be too disruptive to the built environment, not to mention highly damaging to real estate values.

Attempts to jam the signal and flood the 2.4ghz and 5ghz spectrum with noise were rapidly met with swift protests from locals, culminating in a small riot in the NYU student dorms adjacent to SCP-3993-75. At this point, SCP Principal Investigator Macmillan ordered the Faraday cages to be dismantled, jamming efforts deactivated, and effects redirected towards understanding the nature of the wifi access points, and what harm they posed.

Initial testing produced no unusual results; the access points connected to the present-day, real-world internet. Even after multiple hours of web browsing, no ill effects were observed on D-class personnel or members of the public.

In fact, follow-up testing conducted on 487 frequent users of SCP-3993's access points one month later showed quite the opposite. The users scored a statistically significant increase of three points on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (aka the "Wechsler IQ test"). They also demonstrated reduced violent tendencies and greater feelings of empathy, with effects persisting for an average of five months. Repeated usage of SCP-3993 saw increases of fifteen IQ points or more amongst most individuals.

The mechanism in which SCP-3993 acts to increase intelligence was identified via deep packet inspection on a modified Android device. SCP-3993 changes the content of internet traffic en route to connecting devices, serving different pages, podcasts, videos, and social media posts. It rarely creates new content, but instead manipulates search results and social media feeds - themselves generated by complex and opaque algorithms - to surface what researchers term 'life changing content'.

Chat log between SCP Researcher Nguyen and D-1493 (repeated user of SCP-3993-22):

Researcher Nguyen: sup

D-1493: saw this crazy thing on reddit today

D-1493: comment bout a girl my age. really inspiring story. never thought id see that on reddit.

Nguyen: yeah?

D-1493: think im gonna take school more seriously now.

Nguyen: huh

D-1493: just makes you think. if she can stop being a screwup maybe i can too. just gotta work hard at it.

SCP-3993 can compromise all extant and planned forms of SSL/TLS cryptographic network security protocols in real time. Some forms of highly complex cutting-edge encryption – too computationally expensive for the majority of consumer devices – have proven more durable, although in recent months SCP-3993 has demonstrated the capability to circumvent even them. It is theorised that SCP-3993's computing power scales not only with the number of its instances but also the devices that have connected to it.

Since we cannot rely on any consumer-grade form of encryption to contain SCP-3993, efforts have been directed towards broader forms of containment. For example, cheaper and faster mobile internet would significantly reduce public demand for SCP-3993's services. Unfortunately, negotiations with US telecoms providers have been fruitless, and since late 2016, SCP-3993 has begun to experiment with new forms of long-range wireless technology, including 4G and 5G cell tower spoofing.

Note from SCP Principal Investigator Macmillan:

SCP-3993 is one of the most perplexing adversaries we have faced. Where did it come from? Is it trying to uplift us, and for what reason? Why has it chosen to manifest itself as a free wireless access point, of all things? Did we cause this, through our own actions when it arrived? Regardless, despite its apparent lack of aggression, it would be a grave mistake to underestimate its reach and power.

Every day, more of our reality is consumed and mediated through our internet-connected devices. We consume the news on them, we communicate with our friends and family, our opinions are formed and our intentions molded by these ever-present screens. As we use more sophisticated devices that employ virtual and augmented reality, SCP-3993's ability to manipulate our reality and our intelligence will increase exponentially. For the inhabitants of New York, it's entirely possible that their every waking moment could soon be mediated by SCP-3993.

We can be thankful, at least, that SCP-3993 has effectively 'self-contained' its spread to New York. I suspect that this city was chosen due to its high population density, along with its high usage of mobile devices. New York's status as a world leader in business, media, and culture may also assist SCP-3993 in its inscrutable goals. But if it spreads beyond the bounds of this city, it's not clear how we can stop it without inciting mass panic.

Addendum:

Incident Log

  • 2015-02-04: SCP-3993 spreads to 714 locations.
  • 2015-11-29: SCP-3993 spreads to 2053 locations.
  • 2016-12-01: SCP-3993 spreads to 7592 locations.
  • 2017-01-06: SCP-3993 sighted in Columbus, Ohio; London, UK; and Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2017-01-08: New logo appears on all SCP-3993 sheathes: "Free super fast Wi-Fi. And that's just the beginning."
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