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paavo512 (2866903) writes "Estonia will become the first country in the world to offer “e-residency” for foreigners. E-residents will get an electronic identification card similar to Estonian National ID cards which will allow them to use digital services like banking, registering a company in Estonia, and signing electronic documents. These signatures will be legally valid in the whole European Union, not just in Estonia.
This is not a real citizenship. For example, voting is not included in the rights of e-residents.
For obtaining the card the applicant must be at first be physically present in Estonia. E-residency can be cancelled at any moment by the authorities if there is a suspicion of fraud.
paavo512 (2866903) writes "For the last decade or so, Estonia has developed a national electronic data exchange layer called X-Road. Is is based on national electronic ID cards and allows creation of common electronic services like founding a company, declaring taxes or e-voting. Every day, over 800,000 enquiries are made via X-Road (the population of Estonia is 1.3M). According to the PM of Estonia, the solution is saving 2% of national GDP annually.
The Estonian ID card technology was originally imported from Finland; however, it appears Finns have for 10 years failed to come up with any significant e-services making use of them. So it is now agreed that Estonian X-Road solution would be expanding to Finland as well. From the article:
Sharing and joint development of X-Road solution is prescribed by cooperation memorandum, signed [on Dec 10] by Estonian and Finnish prime ministers. To our knowledge, this was the first international agreement in the world which was signed digitally.
paavo512 (2866903) writes "Server-side source code used for electronic voting was made fully public by Estonian officials on July 11. The aim is to encourage more specialists to get involved in the technical analysis of the software. It is hoped that public overview will help to ensure the security of the system.
E-voting has been successfully used 5 times in Estonia since 2007. It facilitates national ID cards which are obligatory for all citizens. In the next municipal elections later this year it is planned to test an experimental feature where the voter can check via a physically separate channel (smart phone) if his or her vote has been registered correctly.