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E-residency, data embassy and the Cloud

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Estonia is about to become the first truly digital society. This deck, supporting a speech at the TopConf Tallinn 2014 conference, points out reasoning behind the endeavour and technical challenges met to date.

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E-residency, data embassy and the Cloud

  1. 1. E-residency, data embassy and the Cloud Andres Kütt Estonian Information System Authority / Architect 20.11.2014
  2. 2. Estonia in perspective Population1 Labor force PPP gross national income per capita Estonia 1 690 391 23.280 Latvia 2 1 046 220 21.820 Russian Federation 144 76 872 229 22.800 Singapore 5 3 021 715 71.900 United States 314 158 666 072 52.610 1 - In millions, rounded to 1 Estonia is so tiny a quarter of our population can become a rounding error.
  3. 3. GNI per capita 80 000 60 000 40 000 20 000 0 Estonia Singapore USA Latvia Russian Federation 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 The graph shows that no only is our GNI considerably smaller than that of more advanced countries, it is also growing at the same pace. Ergo, we shall be relatively cash-strapped for the foreseeable future.
  4. 4. The solution? Go paperless. Replace the expensive paper-based services with electronic government services that are easier to scale and do not create the feedback loop of bureaucracy creating more bureaucracy.
  5. 5. 690 391 Our prime-minister-to-citizen ratio is too high.
  6. 6. GAAS Government as a service. We are already building these web services, why not provide them to others?
  7. 7. 10 000 000 This is radical. Illustrates the lengths to which this country is willing to go. Because we have very few other options.
  8. 8. Digital continuity becomes a problem ! We cannot switch back to paper ! For the reasons we went digital in the first place ! Also because we no longer know how ! Digital is built deep into all aspects of Estonia ! Business processes shaped around requesting data, not delivering documents ! This does not scale without digital In the digital world, this is certainly the case. The more digitized one is, the more dangerous digital risks become. Estonia can not go back to paperless simply because we no longer know how. This has been the case for so long, our business processes have adapted. For example, a common practice has companies supplying a certificate of tax status as part of public tender processes to make sure they do not owe taxes to the state. In Estonia one would execute a query against the tax board information system instead asking for the status of a particular company. Issuing a certificate would also be meaningless as companies can go and change their tax declarations at will altering their financial standing with the state.
  9. 9. One solution to this would be to move all the services to the Cloud by using Microsoft, Amazon, Google or other cloud service providers. I’ll talk a bit about the challenges and learnings we have had
  10. 10. Citizens/Officials/Enterprises Electronic identity Delivery channels Integration Infrastructure Agency Agency Agency Agency Finance and portfolio management Information security Information System Registry Architecture of Estonian information system
  11. 11. Citizens/Officials/Enterprises Electronic identity Delivery channels Integration Infrastructure Agency Agency Agency Agency Finance and portfolio management Information security Information System Registry
  12. 12. Cloud is not simply an infrastructure problem It immediately becomes a business problem, if not sooner then when assessing risks
  13. 13. Whom can you trust? We make a lot of implicit and explicit decisions on trust, cloud introduces a lot of complexities to these decisions
  14. 14. Small players are too small What is their actual ability to honour the collateral?
  15. 15. Big players are too big Appi
  16. 16. What about democratic change? A nation democratically decides it is OK to look into files they consider to be under their jurisdiction
  17. 17. “Lady, I never walk into a place I don't know how to walk out of.”
  18. 18. In the end, nobody can be trusted Not with really important things Cryptography to the rescue!
  19. 19. Secure multi-party computation Ability to share data and computation between untrusted parties Cryptography to the rescue!
  20. 20. X1 X2 AVG(X1,X2) Original 12 8 10 Node 1 1 3 2 Node 2 4 2 3 Node 3 7 3 5
  21. 21. Browser-based cryptography Since the server cannot be trusted, the client must encrypt everything
  22. 22. Challenges with the browser ! Related to encryption itself ! WebCryptoAPI coming to age but clearly inadequate ! Big players reluctant to cooperate on Browser/OS issues ! Related to handling of encrypted data ! How to execute server-based tasks like search on encrypted data? ! Key management issues
  23. 23. Conclusions What can we make of it all? Cryptography to the rescue!
  24. 24. Moving to cloud assumes a high level of maturity from the entire organisation More so than being either in our out of the cloud
  25. 25. Trust decisions need to get explicit Questions of trust have profound business implications and must thus be made explicitly
  26. 26. Cryptography seems to be a solution Although it is not entirely clear, how exactly
  27. 27. Thank you! Andres Kütt andres.kutt@ria.ee

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