Mudamos: electronic signatures

Sign bills of popular initiative by using your mobile phone.

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The Mudamos+ app for electronic signatures in support of laws of popular initiative was developed to revolutionise the way in which laws are put forth by the people. Until now, people’s initiative has been based on paper forms. However, collecting signatures in such a way, in addition to being very costly, yields important problems related to the transparency of the process. Given the technical impossibility, in practise, not a single bill of popular initiative has had its signatures verified. Any bill of popular initiative must be ¨adopted¨ by a member of Parliament in order to be put forth.

ITS Rio believed that technology could transform this process, and hence developed a mobile app to prove that it is possible to electronically sign bills of popular initiative. To do this. we used the same technology used by information security firms, in which each user is verified by public and private keys, and which guarantees the authenticity and uniqueness of each signature. The whole process is carried out using public algorithms made openly available in our code repository (github.com/itsriodejaneiro) and which can be used by any person or entity who wants to verify the signatures. In order to guarantee ITS Rio’s isonomy in the signature-collecting process, every list of subscribers is registered in a virtual ledger (the blockchain) which authenticates the list on a daily basis, ensuring protection from fraud. Neither ITS Rio nor any other person has the power to alter these lists once they have been registered.

The app was developed with funds from the Desafio Impacto Social Google prize and was launched in April 2017. It can be used to put forth new laws not only on a federal level (which would require close to 1.5 million signatures), but also on a state and municipal level. In these cases, the amount of signatures needed is much smaller, and could represent 60 thousand signatures for one state, or as little as 300 for many of the country’s municipalities. We believe that the municipal legislative experience can be revolutionised by the Mudamos+ app and would enable the creation of a new relationship between the people and their representatives.

ITS Rio has been meeting with several brazilian  legislative Houses – National Congress as much as state legislative assemblies and city councils – in order to regulate the format of electronic signatures. Reinforcing its public commitment to offering creative solutions to the challenges of society, it is prepared to advise these houses with technical, judicial and legal support in order to regulate the recognition of electronic signatures, sharing its technology and models for legislative acts which will create a new scene for people’s initiative in Brazil.