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User Verified Social Telematics

WHAT: User Verified Social Telematics (UVST) is a disruptive international project, developed through 3 self-sustaining phases, aimed at the development of a profitable ecosystem and an international standard around the creation of the world’s most user-trustworthy computing platform, which has power consumption and form-factor that make it suitable for a thin handheld end-user device integrated or “attached” to any user’s ordinary smartphone, as well as for server, routing and other IoT/M2M equipment, albeit with very basic features and performance. It is centered on a 6-12M€ UVST R&D Project and a joint venture for a stable and flexible ecosystem for the cost-efficient production of UVST-devices, the UVST Virtual Foundry.

Here’s a 20-pager UVST Executive Summary (PDF or ODT).

HOW: Extreme minimization of hardware and software will allow extreme verification relative to complexity of ALL software, firmware, hardware and processes (including hw design and manufacturing, and datacenter management processes) involved end-to-end in the UVST telematics services, which in turn will enable to achieve unprecedented assurance levels at a low per unit cost, and economic sustainability within an initial 6-12M€ UVST R&D Project budget. All its critical hardware components, will be manufactured in one or more partnering low-capacity 200mm semiconductor mini foundry which will reliably and sustainably allow complete oversight of any critical manufacturing processes; location in participating countries is preferred but not required. It will developed starting from the most minimal, verified and hardened free/open-source (or at least publicly verifiable) software and hardware components available.

UVST R&D PROJECT: Core to the UVST is a 6-12M€ R&D project, to develop a mobile&desktop ultra-private user-friendly end-to-end communications service, at 1-200€/user/year, that provides minimalistic yet truly-trustworthy voice, email/text/chat and Web, social and business communications, through dedicated server-side equipment, datacenter, processes (CivicRoom and CivicLab), and dedicated 2.5-3mm-thin touch-screen e-ink screen handheld device (CivicPod) which is available either attached to any user’s mobile phone via a dedicated external case, or “inserted” inside the internal case of a custom-built smartphone’s (CivicPhone), sharing its battery. CivicLab processes will exceed in assurance those of DoD Trusted Foundry Program and DARPA Trust in Integrated Circuit, but at a fraction of the costs.

PHASES: It is centered on 3 main phases:

  1. A 200K€ 3-months UVST Sprint to further validate feasibility, costs, business case, and consolidate the public-private partnerships for the R&D project. In parallel, substantial private and public demand for UVST will be promoted through campaigns for the internationally recognized standard (through a H2020 EU-Brazil grant proposal) for ultra-secure telematics based on or inspired by UVST Standard Definition or similar, and its pioneering adoption by the regional government hosting UVST.
  2. A 6-12M€ 15-months UVST R&D Project to deliver a first UVST solution ready for self-sustaining and profitable production and commercialization in tens of thousands of units.
  3. (optional) A 5-20M€ UVST Virtual Foundry, a joint venture for establishment of a stable, cost-efficient and flexible ecosystem for the design, prototyping and low-volume production of UVST-compliant devices, equipment and services, tied to substantial permanent geolocated initiatives and facilities.

SCOPE: UVST will give its end-users unprecedented levels of assurance in relation to the fact that, all computing components that are critically involved in their computing experience beyond point of encryption, will “perform as advertised” at all times, and be resistant to attempts to remotely exploit vulnerabilities, even through the most powerful and rare targeted surveillance methods, including automated and semi-automated targeted methods (such as NSA Turbine and Italian Hacking Team), as well as from undetected physical tampering. Does not protect from environmental interception, including that from the end-user’s other connected devices, and other continuous surveillance techniques whose cost and detectability exceed that of environmental interception.

UVST Project 3-Phased Development

PHASE 1 (Sep 2014 – Dec 2014)

  1. UVST Proof-of-Concept Sprint. a 200K€+ effort that gathers 2-6 Italian or global ICT leaders (Private Stakeholders), Global ICT digital rights NGOs (NGO Stakeholders), and a Hosting Partner, and Research Partners to develop a general architecture, technical feasibility and cost analysis, business analysis and presentation documentation aimed at solidly validating the business case to support the co-investment in the 6-12M€ UVST R&D project, through private and grants funding, to realize the first ready-to-market UVST-based solution.
    ((STATUS)): Has been announced on July 2nd 2014. Participation will be offered thru July and August preferentially to a selection of the current 15 UVST Italian, EU and Brazilian leading private and public partners, EIT ICT partners of the Trento Node, selected Trust in Digital Life members and other UVST prospective governmental and private partners (see bottom of this page).
  2. UVST CivicAuthority governance structure. Since the start of the UVST R&D project of the UVST Sprint (Sept 30th 2014) complete rules and memberships of a truly world-class permanent governance structure of UVST project, called CivicAuthority, made up of Stakeholders and Steering Board. It have all power over UVST: (a) set and manage high-level constrains for the development and upgrading of UVST solutions through a Stated Goals & Priorities document, (b) will set and maintain a UVST Standard Definition.
  3. UVST Standard Definition for formal and/or informal adoption. A campaign and a EU grant proposal for the creation of a wide formal OR informal consensus – among relevant NGOs and relevant governmental agencies – of the need for a UVST-based or similar international standard for ultra-private telematics services, that would lead to: (a) formal adoption at the regional level, and possibly the national and international, (b) a validation of UVST products to a private market that misses any standard. We’re promoting that through 2 parallel actions:
    1. Promote a wide participation, endorsement and a shared campaign by major digital rights NGOs and experts, and key partnering civilian state IT security agencies for the definition UVST-based or similar in international standard.
      ((STATUS)): A proposal for definition of such standard to the EU-Brazil Horizon 2020 Standardization Grant Program (p.92-96 of H2020 LEIT Programme) will be presented by the end 2014 or early 2015 with our partners including, the Fondazione Ugo Bordoni, research arm Ministry of Economic Development of Italy (Italy is currently ruling EU semester); We have substantial interest from SERPRO Brazilian main IT state agency and top research and private Brazilian institutions. We also have an initial interest from American Mini Foundry project. A draft of UVST Standard Definition was defined with help by several NGO and state agency experts. Interest for a standard and a campaign has been spread among several parties.
    2. Pioneering regional and national public legislation or regulations that mandate the adoption of UVST-like solutions in their procurement for most critical e-services and standard-setting processes, and in the priorities of public R&D incentive programs, with wide effect on market demand.
      ((STATUS)): Through extensive support by Richard Stallman, a multi-partisan legislative initiative in the Lazio Region produced a legislative proposal by the 2nd largest party, that provides a template for other regional and national legislations, including the exact text of our UVST Standard Definition.

PHASE 2 (mid 2015 – end 2016)

  1. UVST R&D PROJECT. The 6-12M€ UVST R&D project, described above, is executed.
    Status: Has attracted 15 leading Italian, EU and Brazil partners, public and private, available to participate and co-invest in the project execution through public co-financing grants (Horizon 2020, FINEP Inova Brazil, other), and/or a privately financed venture lead by a few large IT investing partners. A draft 45 page project description and business plan, and a 2 pager UVST Goals & Priorities have been developed.
  2. UVST R&D Center. A 100-200k€ plan, as an optional outcome of the UVST Proof-of-Concept Sprint, to establish and finance in-staff and in-kind a permanent 3-year micro-center to promote fundraising activities towards direct and grant-based investment in the UVST R&D project, as well as the mid-long term UVST Virtual Foundry.

PHASE 3 (2016 – 2020) (Optional)

  1. UVST Virtual Foundry. A 5-20M€ plan for a multi-year joint venture – through co-investments by Private Stakeholders, partnering 200mm semiconductor low-capacity foundri(es), a local tech park and local/national government, and and direct and indirect funds subsidies – will create a set of facilities, processes and services to establish a stable, cost-efficient and flexible ecosystem for the design, prototyping and small-medium scale production of UVST-compliant devices, equipment and services, tied to substantial geolocated initiatives.
    It will be composed of the following:
    1. UVST Design Center. An innovation center where designs of hardware, software, services and casing for UVST-devices happen. After an initial stage exclusive to UVST Private Stakeholders, crowd-sourcing open innovation models may be deployed that allow young innovators to propose new produces and service in revenue sharing models. Includes:
      1. A UVST Device Prototyping and Usability Lab, with several prototyping machinery for SoC and component (blocks) prototype development, advanced 3d printing, and user experience tools and simulation setups. (300-1000 sq.mts.).
      2. UVST Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab, a simulation environment where organizational processes and technologies that allow for complete oversight of the manufacturing processes of critical components of UVST-devices, as specified in the CivicFab processes, both in partnering local AND offshore foundries. It will also host dedicated simulation hosting rooms to develop and test techs and processes of CivicRoom (1-3M€, 500-1000 sq.mts., 5 mt. Height).
      3. UVST Partner Foundries. One or more partnering low-capacity 200mm semiconductor foundry(ies) that will enter in multi-year agreements, possibly including co-investment, for ongoing production of UVST-devices SoCs (System-of-chip), related blocks and other hardware components. It will hosted all necessary dedicated facilities setups to run the CivicFab processes developed through the UVST Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab. (a) a validation of UVST products to the private market.
        One of the partnering foundries will host the UVST Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab. Foundries and Design Center can well be in different locations or even countries. Kryptus, south american leader in secure processors and very active partner, is conditionally available as one of the investing partners. We’ll be proposing to the Lfoundry 200mm low-capacity semiconductor foundry of Avezzano, 1 hour from Rome, Italy, and other EU Foundries in Italy, EU and Brazil. We also have an initial interest from American Mini Foundry project. 

UVST (or “Next”) Next ICT Security and Privacy District. Provided that a major tech park and regional government (such as Trentino Region, Abruzzo Region, Sao Paulo State ) fully uptakes the project agreeing to provide major co-funding (with national and EU) – as it always happens in other countries for highly-strategic and value added investments such as semiconductors and highest security technologies – phase 2 and 3 of the UVST may be compressed and larger permanent facilities may be built. In such case, it is possible to envision the creation of a full-blown regional cluster or district on leading-edge hardware-level security and privacy. In such scenario, a larger 3-5000 sq.mts. UVST Design Center may be conceived as a cutting-edge architectural facility an innovative Zero Emission, Off-Grid and Food-Autonomous facility, that may; represent in architecture the leading positive future that the Center is developing; bring publicity; and make it even more attractive to young world software and hardware hacking talents (Find here a 12-pager PDF with Prototypical Architectural Design, and here its 3-pager Eco-analysis PDF).

Next Steps

We are seeking:

  1. (By Sept 10th 2014) A set of 3-6 large EU ICT companies, that are willing to co-finance the UVST Sprint, and join as private UVST Stakeholders together with Kryptus, (and optionally sign conditional co-investment MOU in UVST R&D project). See Sprint Offer and the proposed MOU.
  2. (By Sept 10th 2014) Leading research, NGOs, individual and governmental partners, to join the UVST Sprint to advise and steer the project, with an option to join with a key governance paid role in the following UVST R&D Project.
  3. An Italy or EU-based 200mm low-capacity foundry willing to partner by: (a) providing detailed estimated for the hw manufacturing and design of the UVST R&D project; (b) co-invest in the UVST Sprint; (c) receiving a limited-time exclusive, or co-exclusive, right for the production of UVST devices; (d) (optionally) sign conditional co-investment MOU in UVST R&D project (and UVST Virtual Foundry).