RvK: Real Digital Signatures

Within the proposed technical framework of provable computing and disposable identities we envisage Digital Signatures for services (banking, payment, energy, education, care, mobility, connectivity…) and Digital Signatures for architectures (virtual and analogue enablers of connectivity) defined by stakeholders that organize themselves, ICANN style. 

They are a tool to complement current actions on procurement and local agency as it does not matter that the original data sets and analytical platforms are not under your control. In this manner local stakeholders are a priority part of building the next layer of value, naming the new entities that are formed when AI inspired intelligence starts to see patterns unrecognizable before. The next step is to embed these signatures for persons, services and architectures into a sustainable framework for access and identity. This could be brokered by substituting the passport for an EU device (running Estonian e-card) talking to friendly servers, platforms and Clouds running public algorithms and ethical AI, enabling direct democracy through local referenda and embedding contributions from taxpayers in a rich value layer fostering innovative public and private services in a comprehensive sovereign framework. 

It is the COVID-19 crisis that makes this kind of organizational thinking combining a provable computing. environment with disposable identies in which people and objects can be onboarded in an attribute based way a viable business model as well, thus creating a win- win – win for all parties involved. A win for service providers able to prove accountability and liability and thus raise affordable insurance, a win for the organizational scope – taxpayers, intel, police, city – able to prove embedded safety, and a win for citizens who are not tracked and traced with their full identities exposed to all parties in real time.

We have an historical precedent. It is Estonia and the successful e-card. It too was created in a state of emergency, the fall of the Berlin Wall.

We create, for example, a Digital Signature for large scale events that can be used to safely and securely bring forward opening dates (after lockdown has ended) for large scale events like football (Champions League, UEFA), cycling (Tour de France) and tennis tournaments:

“Eventually, the ticket is a credential within a mobile wallet (access right), but the identity of the ticket’s owner is wearable and the disposable identity links these two elements (identity and access right) in a very privacy-preserving way (cryptography does the essential work here). Every single ticket a person possesses. may point to a disposable identity. You might reveal your identity when you buy the tickets but then, a disposable yet official identity allows you to prove the access right you bought in a very minimalistic way… The police can know where you are without knowing, however, who you are and where you were yesterday…”, Petros Kavassalis.

Our question then becomes: How can these new (and current) building blocks serve as digital signatures for goods (including public algorithms for dynamic pricing and templates for cold chain and food waste), for services (templates and scenarios like ‘warming a home’, driving safe from A to B’, ‘proactively coaching a potential disease and treating it if it occurs’) and infrastructure (scenarios such as ‘providing peace for a region’, ‘facilitating energy sovereignty for a region’, facilitating flow of persons, goods and data’, providing for the local ability to repair and maintain connectivity infrastructure) based on the eIDAS ecosystem building on a digital signature of legal persons. If these digital signatures can become smart contracts for services then we shift ‘data as gold’ too ‘services as gold’ and move the new added value to sovereign actors. 

A new team

Violence has become the norm, structural and integral as the terror of the ‘normal’ of accurate efficiency tuned to the profit of a few. Saying this is tedious. We know by now. I hope to have shown that the technological building blocks of chips, processors, connectivity and operational transparency are as neutral as Gramsci’s notion of hegemony and comrades in our hands.

The contours of a movement slowly becomes visible and consists of four skills:

1.    Formalized intelligence:. Policy influence, theoretical work on Self Sovereign Identity, education for citizens and custodians (family, friends, SME in the neighborhood that can be trusted as backup when private keys are lost)
2.    Practical intelligence: blockchain and crypto schemes, small grants strategies in projects like NGI.eu Open calls, hardware experiments with operating systems on chip
3.    Operational intelligence: Walk tall, or don’t walk at all.
4.    Spiritual intelligence: The first and foremost step this movement. must make is to neutralize all value judgements in storytelling as such. Currently the ‘normal’ is so narrowly defined, as we have seen above framed in the teleology of techné that all other points of view feel compelled to move to conspiracy theory (as it is called). It. is time for the hidden and the technical superficial histories of the world to realign, so that the full positive energies of suppressed intelligences can start to radiate.