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FOUNDED
2017
STATUS
Active

Mudamos is a mobile application created to radically transform the way citizens relate
to politics.

Brazil’s Constitution instituted a few means of direct democracy, including the
possibility of any citizen propose a draft bill at a legislative house at the municipal, state or
federal level, given the support of a minimum of citizens explicit through their signature. Until
today, popular initiative bills’ signatures are paper-based, which is not only costly, but also
presents problems connected to transparency and safety principles. In fact, there are no
citizens’ bills approved at the national level due to the verification barrier. All the projects
proposed at this level which collected the minimum signatures necessary had to be adopted
by a parliamentarian.

ITS Rio believed that technology could transform this process and hence developed
a mobile app to prove that it is possible to sign bills of popular initiative electronically. To
implement this idea, we used blockchain so each user is verified by public and private keys,
guaranteeing the authenticity and uniqueness of every signature. The whole process is
carried out using public algorithms openly available in our code repository
(github.com/itsriodejaneiro) and they can be used by any person or entity who wants to
verify the signatures. In order to guarantee ITS Rio’s isonomy in the signature-collecting
process, every list of subscribers is registered in a virtual ledger (blockchain) which
authenticates it on a weekly basis, ensuring protection from fraud. Neither ITS Rio nor any
other person has the power to alter these lists once they have been registered.

The app was developed with funds from the award Google Impact Challenge 2016
and it was launched in April 2017. Through Mudamos, users can propose bills not only at the
federal level (which require around 1.7 million signatures), but also at state and municipal
levels. In these cases, the amount of signatures needed is much smaller and could
represent 60,000 signatures for some states or as little as 300 signatures for many of the
country’s municipalities.

ITS Rio has been meeting with several Brazilian legislative houses – the National
Congress, state legislative assemblies and city councils – in order to institutionalize the
electronic format for these signatures. By reinforcing its public commitment of offering
creative solutions to society’s challenges, the Institute is prepared to advise these houses
with technical, judicial and legal support so they legally recognize electronic signatures on
citizens’ initiative draft bills, sharing both its technology as well as models for legislative acts
which will create a new scenario for popular initiative bills in Brazil.

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