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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. It will intrinsically guarantee access for constitutional – no more and no less – court-mandated lawful intercept and search & seizure orders in democratic countries, through innovative citizen-jury datacenter access management processes.

PHASESUVST develops through 3 phases: (1) an initial 200K€ 3-months proof-of-concept Sprint with 3-5 private partners, leading to; (2)6-12M€ UVST R&D Project participated by 15 Italian, EU and Brazilian leading private and public partners and world class prospects, and a parallel international standardization effort. Advisable; and (3) the creation of a subsequent 5-20M€ UVST Virtual Foundry, a joint venture for the development of world-class design facilities and cluster for UVST-compliant solutions and equipment, and permanent setup of compliant 200mm low-capacity partnering foundries. Phase 3 is not required for profitability of the R&D project.

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.

PARTNERS: We have world class and extremely diverse competencies, as well as global marketing reach, through our current 15 Italian, EU and Brazilian leading private and public partners and world class prospects. Ready to co-invest up to 30% in EU and Brazilian public grants. Our Brazilian partner Kryptus is first company in the southern hemisphere to design a secure processor for general use (mobile, router, server), the ScuP, whose complete firmware will be free software. In addition, we have extensive formal negotiations in place with the Free Software Foundation (with Stallman directly and 2 FSF board members) and with the TAILS team (the OS used by Edward Snowden and his journalists and Bruce Schneier).American Mini Foundry which is a partner of the UVST Sprint, will bring top world-class competencies in hardware design and fabrication assurance processes, through its president Scadden and core team member, Gerry Etzold, Former Director of NSA Trusted Access Program and Former Deputy director of the NSA. We currently in very advanced negotiations with Kryptus and GSMK Cryptophone to jointly invest in detailed architecture design and Call proposal, through a UVST Sprint.

NEXT STEPS: While we are refining the project architecture and preparing various grant proposals, we are seeking:

  1. (By Sept 30h 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 30h 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 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).