No More Paperwork: Estonia Edges Toward Digital Government

Estonia has created one platform that supports electronic authentication and digital signatures to enable paperless communications across both the private and public sectors.

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Extract from an article by Danica Kirka

This Baltic nation of 1.3 million people is engaged in an ambitious project to make government administration completely digital to reduce bureaucracy, increase transparency and boost economic growth. As more countries shift their services online, Estonia’s experiment offers a glimpse of how interacting with the state might be for future generations.

Need a prescription? It’s online. Need someone at City Hall? No lines there — or even at the Department of Motor Vehicles! On the school front, parents can see whether their children’s homework was done on time.

Estonia has created one platform that supports electronic authentication and digital signatures to enable paperless communications across both the private and public sectors.

The platform is underpinned by software called X-Road, a decentralized data exchange system that links databases. Outgoing data is digitally signed and encrypted, and all incoming data is authenticated and logged.

The government, fearing attempts to compromise its borders by neighboring Russia, also has a backup plan to restore digital services in the event of invasion or severe cyberattacks: data “embassies” in countries like Luxembourg. Like a regular embassy, the servers are considered Estonian territory and would give the government a chance to boot up elsewhere if needed.

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Source: ComplexDiscovery

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