By using MySQLs LOCAL INFILE we could bypass PHP's safe_mode security restriction. An important thing here is that we can't rely on the shared hosts MySQLds local-infile=0 option. This because of it being a server option, so it will not have any effect on the client. To disable this option for MySQL we need to compile libmysqlclient with --disable-local-infile, or remove the CLIENT_LOCAL_FILES flag while connecting. PHP does this when open_basedir are in effect but lacks a check for safe_mode.
For MySQLi compiling with --disable-local-infile won't help because we could just reenable it with mysqli->options(MYSQLI_OPT_LOCAL_INFILE, 1);