Skywire: A Free and Open Internet

The internet gives us the illusion of control. We can socialize, consume, and do business instantly through services provided by Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. Seems convenient, right? It is – until you consider what you’re giving up.

We don’t control our lives online. Large companies and internet service providers (ISPs) collect our data, track our movements, and shape our experiences. Every time we use the internet, we give these companies total power over us. We don’t own our internet lives, they do.

It’s getting worse. Corporate and government entities continue to threaten internet freedom. Just this spring, the FCC moved to throw out net neutrality rules. If the move succeeds, the net neutrality protections that provide equal access for all content will be destroyed. ISPs will be able to block content and control connectivity. They’ll choose which content you see, and exactly how you see it.

Globally, the threat to internet freedom is even more serious. Some governments actively censor sites, or block certain apps and services. Other countries have economically-rooted problems with access. Much of the developing world has no internet access at all, while some have limited access that comes at a high cost due to corporate control and third-party scams that exploit less-experienced users.

Everywhere we look, governments and corporations exclude disadvantaged groups. Censorship and profit incentives keep the general public from unlocking the web’s full potential. 10% of the US population – about 34 million people – have no reliable internet access. The number is higher in rural areas. These people are disproportionately vulnerable to internet outages. They lack the social, educational, and economic advantages that fair and equal internet access would provide.

It’s time to take back control. The internet should be a public resource, not a tool for corporate profit or government surveillance. Together with developers and activists, Skywire is leading this fight.

Skywire is a peer-to-peer alternative network that takes control from ISPs and gives it back to the users. Peer-to-peer technology doesn’t require you to give up your identity and data to access content. Skywire provides a blockchain-based decentralized network where you can browse securely and privately. With Skywire, you own your data. You control your own experience. It’s a truly free and open internet.

A free internet has benefits that go beyond user experience. It provides a platform for innovation. Developers can create freely without being smothered by powerful corporations. When all sites are treated equally, the public benefits from increased transparency and information on topics ranging from policy to health. Creativity can flourish. Art becomes accessible to a broader demographic. Diverse perspectives can spread and be heard. Free speech can thrive. Users can choose their own experience and create their own content, rather than consuming a limited set of corporate products.

Peer-to-peer technology provides security benefits, too. It frees up users to act without fear of surveillance. This is a groundbreaking change that would profoundly improve online experience. With anonymous and secure private browsing and transactions, Skywire levels the playing field to empower all users.

In the current internet landscape, companies and government agencies constantly track online transactions. They collect personal data and store it for marketing, or less benign purposes. But data collection also has a more insidious effect: it removes online personhood, turning users into numbers. By putting trust blindly in third parties, we give them the ability to exploit our data for profit. We lose ownership of the content we create and the actions we take. In short, we give up our privacy.

Think about it. You wouldn’t give away all your private possessions to a faceless organization that could use them however they pleased. So why would you do the same thing online? It’s too big a price to pay for convenience. Unfortunately, many users feel that they have no other choice. That’s the dilemma of the modern internet.

Skywire gives users a choice. Better encryption and locally-stored data lets you keep your information to yourself. You won’t be vulnerable to data breaches, hacking, or theft. Your activities online are private. When you regain ownership of your data, you regain your power as a user. It’s that simple. And it all starts with the peer-to-peer networking of Skywire.

The future of the internet is at risk more now than ever before. With threats of censorship, data theft, user exploitation, and profiteering by ISPs, the need for transformation is urgent. We’re developing Skywire because we understand that urgency. It’s time to unlock the full potential of a free internet.

Source code: https://github.com/skycoin/skywire

Translation bounty for Русский, 한국어, 日本語, 中文: 10 SKY

Translation bounty for other languages: 5 SKY

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