Mysterium Whitepaper - Ethereum Based Decentralized VPN

Mysterium Whitepaper - Ethereum Based Decentralized VPN

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Executive Summary
Privacy - most of us think as if it’s a given fact of life, but behind the scenes there is a race going on with its participants secretly trying to get into as much of our private lives, as is possible.

Today, as Internet users, we are being restricted in ways we are allowed to use services and applications due to censorship employed by various agenda groups from all over the world. It comes to us in many forms.

Nation states consistently monitor the Internet traffic so they can construct political profiles of its citizens. In such a paradigm, dissent becomes dangerous, and honest political discord in some places - an impossibility.

In a similar manner, content and Internet Service Providers have become unhinged in their objective to monitor, track and profile every user across the Internet. The daily Internet activity, communications and habits of every user are consolidated and sold to advertisers and basically any willing buyers. Such transactions occur with little to no conscious consent of the users and with a complete disregard for any notion of personal privacy.

Access to content is being restricted by its content providers to certain areas due to Intellectual Property limitations or purely because of low valuation of users from these particular locations.

Today there is still a lack of investments into research, implementation and maintenance of tools capable of restoring privacy to the Internet users. These circumstances create the necessity for creation of protective measures designed to preserve the open and unobstructed nature of the Internet.

With the invention and maturity of powerful peer-to-peer computing technologies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, the capability to employ blockchain technology in the development of trustless censorship evasion mechanisms becomes feasible.

Mysterium team believes in and strives to build a future that respects our privacy, which will result in disrupting existing and creating new industries in the near to long term. Looking forward, we expect Mysterium Network platform to form the basis for a world of open access to content and applications to all citizens of this planet without fear of censorship or of someone secretly looking over our shoulder.

Mission Statement
“Our mission is to create distributed, trustless and sustainable network - providing open access and privacy to all Internet users.”

The Internet in its current state is neither open nor private. At Mysterium we believe censorship and spying is both unethical and unnecessary, which are forms of intimidation and social control impeding technological and social progress.

It’s commonly believed that if you need encryption - you must be hiding something, assuming it’s something illegal. Here is a short list of 6 commonly used and very legitimate use cases where strong encryption is a proven solution:
  1. travelers visiting places where their personal email & social media accounts are censored or blocked by the local authorities;
  2. communications in your private life about your political, religious, gender / orientation, entertainment preferences that could result in discrimination or reprisals against you;
  3. businesses needing privacy to avoid corporate espionage;
  4. journalists communicating with whistleblowers, especially when the source is within the very government or corporation that controls the communication network being used;
  5. dissidents and activists needing to organize meetings and protests without being spied on by the powers they plan to protest;
  6. citizens, protesters and journalists needing to send reports on events about human rights violations to the outside world news agencies - as they occur. To request help or to inform the outside world, while being sure that the local powers that be will actively try to suppress all kinds of communication.
Thus we intend to develop the Mysterium Node Network, as an open and distributed peer to peer platform embedded with sustainable incentivization protocols, while using continuously evolving censorship evasion mechanisms, developed by the community. Once developed and released, Mysterium technology will enable anyone around the world to both: provide and receive access to content and privacy, removing censorship imposed by third parties.

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the ethics of creating Mysterium tools which allow the avoidance of censorship. We believe the cost of censoring content is not worth the supposed benefits (assumed lower crime, higher profits of certain corporations, stronger political power, etc..) as these ends can be reached by other, more ethical means. Most of the solutions are well known to censors and effective filtering is used to limit access. For example machine learning is applied by censors to study Internet usage patterns and detecting unwarranted behaviors.
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