Mon. Jan 27th, 2020

The Government takes independence to the field of 'Big Data'

El Govern lleva la independencia al terreno del ‘Big Data’

"The key is to unlock Governació" That was one of the maxims that the pro-independence movement privately recited – either in Barcelona or in Waterloo – after the elections of December 21, and one of the objectives in order to recover administrative normality after 155. However, when On May 19 the composition of the new Govern was announced, the Governació conselleria, as such, did not exist. The portfolio previously occupied by Meritxell Borràs and Santi Vila was renamed Digital Policies and Public Administration.

As the conseller the chosen one was the engineer Jordi Puigneró, previously Telecommunications Secretary, head of the Agència de Ciberseguretat de Catalunya and, by extension, a key piece in the operation of the computer system that made it possible, despite the cyber attacks, the 1-O referendum.

Build a real and efficient digital administration with secure connectivity, Torra's key objective

The change of name of the Conselleria is not merely aesthetic. One of the objectives of the Government of Torra and the Consell of the Republic that is presented on Tuesday at the Palau de la Generalitat is to build a real and efficient digital administration with a secure connectivity and using technologies in development as
when it comes to providing services to citizens.

An example is the presentation of the regulation for electronic voting of Catalans living abroad, or the opening of the tender for four bids worth 889 million euros to promote 5G connectivity through a hub worldwide with headquarters in Catalunya or the protocols and platforms that allow mass data management.

In other words, the aim of these initiatives is to replace classical administration, on paper, with a digital administration through management technologies.
Big Data
. What is the space to which the independence movement, particularly JxCat, seeks to move the

What seemed like an intention over the months was verbalized last week. In a conference at Fundació Soberania i Justicia last Friday, collected by the Catalan edition of The country, the Conseller Puigneró put black on white the intentions of the Government. "The digital tools will be essential to persist the Catalan nation until the day we are able to control the physical territory," he said in a parliament in which he anticipated "digital coin initiatives."

A digital state structure

The creation of a digital administration and its derivatives is already included in the

electoral program With which JxCat
He attended the elections on December 21. In it -pages 26 and 27- and under the heading E-Stat specify the cases for the creation of "a digital native republic", based on "cybersecurity, especially if we propose a digital State project", the "vote electronic decision-making in Catalonia ", within a country" digitally sovereign in the management of their data "that allows, ultimately," the creation of a Catalan digital currency "and" the digital residence of companies ".

However, a digital administration is not per se a state structure, but it can be. At this point, the use of blockchain – Separate information in chains that allows streamlining economic or administrative transactions in an undetectable environment – makes the system owner can manage that information outside a control space. For example, when making a census, or a structure for collecting information in polling stations: as the information is separated into blocks unconnected with each other, a computer attack against one of those blocks would not affect the rest of the information.

Technologies that already exist

The decision of what is the control environment for this data is the owner of the network. They can be within the legal or not. But if they are out of the legal, it is their own blockchain -A technology that "will be a revolution, as the Internet was in the 90s", according to the conseller Puigneró- the one that makes them undetectable.

Although the project of administrative digitalization may seem impossible, the truth is that the technologies on which it is based, such as the 5G, the blockchain they already exist, and they only need time for their use to be frequent. Mobile phone companies, for example, estimate that 5G will be in common use by 2020.

Data, Catalonia and Estonia

The issue of data and its free movement is not a minor issue within the EU. Precisely in the second half of 2017, when the 1-O referendum was held, the rotating presidency of the 27 fell on Estonia, which put on the table the expansion of the EU's freedom of movement – people, assets, capitals and services- to a fifth freedom: the free movement of data between territories. Estonia is precisely the most digital country in the world.

Member of the EU since 2004, the small (1.3 million inhabitants) Baltic state opted for an early digitization to cheapen its administrative structure and make it more efficient. The Minister of Digital Policies, Jordi Puigneró, considers that Estonia is the "example to follow" for Catalonia. After visiting the country in October 2014 and meeting with the government secretary, Puigneró – also a councilor in the town hall of Sant Cugat del Vallès, where he met Territori Minister Damià Calvet – today wrote a article on in which he highlighted "investment and clear commitment to ICT" in the country and concluded: "In order to build a new post-9-N country, I would recommend not to be bamboozled by 'Bolivarian vintage' and / or similar ideologies and practice social empiricism taking note of those cases of recent independence like that of Estonia ". Puigneró has met with representatives of the Republic of Estonia on at least three other occasions.

In order to build a new country (…) I would practice social empiricism taking note of those cases of recent independence like Estonia

The government of Tallinn admitted in October 2017 through the mouth of Siim Sikkut, Deputy General Secretary of Communications and Information Systems, who provided technological advice on cybersecurity to the Government in the dates prior to 1-O. Sikkut, precisely, explained to The vanguard the importance of cybersecurity for a country like Estonia, on the occasion of the opening of a digital embassy in Luxembourg: "The idea is that if anything happens, Estonia will be able to continue functioning as a State even if it does not have its physical facilities in Tallinn. The Government or Parliament could continue to make decisions from anywhere. " From Tallinn or from Luxembourg. Or also from Barcelona or from Waterloo.

Featured: Puigneró, in 2014 "In order to build a new country (…) I would practice social empiricism taking note of those cases of recent independence like that of Estonia"

How would a digital 1-O have been?

Perhaps the best way to understand a digital administration is to set an example of a past situation and apply the technological filter. Thus, a referendum of 1-O past the technological filter would not have needed ballot boxes or polling stations, since electronic voting would allow voting from anywhere. Searching for polls or closing polling stations would have been as impossible as ineffective. Likewise, the construction of a counting office, if carried out within a chain of information blocks, would have been undetectable, since the archive would not reside in a single center. And the debate would be open on whether the preparation of that census had been strictly legal. A census is a sum of data: name, residence, DNI … If these data are split into blocks unconnected with each other, and only a part of those blocks is detected, can it be considered that a census has been made?

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