A Democratic Identification System

Universal Basic Income and Democratic Monetary Systems are easy to implement… once you have a global ID system that supports them.

Here’s what the People of Earth’s ID could look like.

A volunteer of the ID system shows up at your place (like a census agent would) with a laptop, and helps you craft your public record.

First we put this in:

  • Your name (self-assigned; it can be anything you consider to be your primary name);
  • The place you were born;
  • Your public e-mail address. It does not need to be any address you currently hold. If you don’t have one to put in your ID, the agent helps you create a new one in Gmail (thanks Capitalism!) with 2FA enabled (if you have a phone);
  • An optional string (write anything you want in it, or leave it blank). E.g. you can put a link to your site, blog or Facebook page.

Then the agent asks you to get any “government document,” which is a provider of personal uniqueness and verification from the old world that we will recycle, for now. Depending on where you live on Earth, the local agents will have a different idea about what kind of “government document” works well enough. You get the document, and the agent fills up the following:

  • The document’s “name.” For example, I would present a “BR/RS/SSP/RG”, which is the Registro Geral (RG) of the Secretaria de Segurança Pública (SSP) of my state (RS) here in Brazil (BR);
  • The document’s issuance date;
  • Your name on the document or, if you prefer, the SHA-256 hash of your name on the document. Since I am transgender and I have to actually sue the state to get corrected documents, I want the “legal name” (which is just a meaningless tag and nothing that I actually use) to be obfuscated;
  • The SHA-256 hash of the document’s identifier string (its “value”). A Brazilian RG is a random combination of letters and numbers, depending on the state and on what you do (e.g. lawyers get a different number). The agent verifies the number, hashes it, and your public ID gets the hash — not the original number on it.

With this, your Democratic Earthling’s ID leans on the old oligarchic world of corporate-states and their identification efforts. With this, any person, upon verifying your Democratic ID, together with your physical possession of your government ID, can check that they are linked. By hashing the number on your government ID again, you arrive at the secure hash present on your Democratic ID.

But we are not done. Next, the agent helps you generate a cryptographic public/private keypair for you. The private key is printed out for you in a nice little paper card that comes with a paper sleeve. And the following is put on your ID:

  • Your public key;
  • The SHA-256 hash of the previous ID. If this ID is not replacing (obsoleting) a previous ID, this field is empty. (Most replacements will be due to private keys being compromised: revealed or forgotten);

Once that’s done, the entire record is normalized into a standard digital file format and SHA-256 hashed. That 256-bit number is now your Democratic Earthling’s ID and, as you’ve seen, everyone can get one.

That’s it. That’s how you create a global ID object for humans. The person referred to by the 256-bit ID number can prove that they are themselves in digital communications by using their private key to sign a message, and the message can be verified by the public key that’s securely hashed inside the ID object itself.

How to implement a Democratic/Basic-Income Monetary System using the Democratic ID system?

Here’s one way to do it.

Have a group of reputable organizations (Certificate Authorities — CAs, really) serve as signers of IDs. They become responsible for signing them and revoking them on a public database (yes, it can be a “blockchain”), so when an ID needs a new public/private keypair, the current ID number of a person can be revoked and a new one can be issued as the tip of that person’s historical chain of IDs.

The agent that visits the person? Once the ID object is created, they can submit that object for signing at one or more of these CAs.

A partial consensus between multiple of these CAs (I believe two of them agreeing and signing an ID in or out of validity is enough) is then used by a Democratic Monetary System as input to pay a Guaranteed, Universal Basic Income of money to the public keys of the IDs that are valid. So these systems start paying everybody that is visited by the CAs and their ID agents as soon as they identify themselves by submitting their newly-minted IDs and signing a message with their private keys. They don’t even need to fill in their e-mail addresses, as that is already part of the ID.

That’s pretty much it. I’m off to open up my Democratic Money simulation so that you can more easily play with the concept (it’s invite-only currently, so if you want in right now, PM me and I’ll send an invite).

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