Legal Questions

This is not legal advice.

The FAQ for Node Operators is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, or an opinion of any kind.

You are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting your legal counsel regarding any specific legal issues in your jurisdiction.

We do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site.

Is it legal to run a Mysterium Node?

We are not aware of anyone who has been sued or suffered legal consequences for being a Mysterium Node Runner.

It is our understanding, that in major jurisdictions – the US, UK, countries of the EU – Mysterium is legal. However, Mysterium is a tool to enhance users’ privacy on the web. Some narrow-minded regimes might see it as an obstacle in their intention to control its citizens.

What if someone uses my node for illegal purposes?

Then they will most probably be breaking the law. By installing our client software, the users undertook to use it only for legal purposes and avoid any criminal or illegal activities.  

What if I receive a takedown (cease and desist) from my ISP/ hosting provider/ any other person?

Depending on your jurisdiction, you might have an immunity defense for infringements by end users routing traffic through your Mysterium node.

For example:

  • United States: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) creates a safe harbor for online service providers against copyright infringement liability. We believe you as a Node Runner are an online service provider. Provided you meet specific requirements (e.g. not having actual knowledge of the infringement, not obtaining financial benefit from the infringement, etc.) you should be in the clear.

    As a Node Runner you must adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines. This means promptly blocking access to alleged infringing material (or removing such material from your system) when you receive notification of an infringement claim from a copyright holder.

    Learn more about the DMCA safe harbors here.
  • Canada: the Copyright Modernization Act establishes that online service providers are ”exempt from liability when they act strictly as intermediaries in communication, caching and hosting activities“. We believe, that as a Mysterium Node Runner you act as an intermediary.

    Read more about Canada here.
  • EU: Under the EU E-Commerce Directive, a service provider can benefit from the liability exemptions for “mere conduit” and for “caching” when you are in no way involved with the information transmitted. Unless of course, actual knowledge of infringement exists.

    This exemption is supported by the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which affirmed that service providers do not have a general obligation to monitor their users and may not be asked to filter Internet content for copyright enforcement purposes.

Most of the EU member states have implemented the E-Commerce Directive in their national lawand as an intermediary you might be exempt from liability.

Read more about the EU here.

  • Other countries might or might not have adequate safe harbor provisions for online intermediaries. We will update this list. If you have solid information about the situation in your country, please contact us..

If you have received a notice from anyone, it would be wise to check what your national law says about your liability as an online intermediary.

We will draft a template response to takedown notices but in a meantime,  we suggest using the following template. This was drafted by EFF for the US intermediaries and should be amended as necessary.

Can I use Mysterium for illegal purposes?

No. Mysterium is not meant for illegal activities and we do not encourage this. By installing our node software, you agreed not use it to commit any crimes or other illegal activities in or through the Mysterium VPN Open Alpha.