Digitally Sign Documents with e-Residency

During the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten some pretty cool mentions in the digital world. Reblogs, posts on Facebook (Sten Tamkivi’s was the most re-shared and commented on), tweets, article mentions, etc. There’s too many supporters to list here so I won’t even try – but seriously thanks to everyone who’s been reading. That’s humbling. One very cool shoutout which I just can’t resist: The President of Estonia called me “The Occasional Estonian”. So awesome, I’m definitely keeping that name.

Now that I setup my Digital Identity, there are some features I have been trying. But before we get into the first feature, I’ll make my obligatory rant for this post. Why do passwords today have such ridiculous requirements? They want more than 6 characters, but less than 8. At least one upper case, one lower case, one number, and one symbol. Basically they want to be sure that there’s no fucking chance I’ll remember the password. In doing this they’re ignoring simple math. Sites should let us use sentences as passwords (25+ characters). Rather than butcher the explanation, I’ll share this:

password_strengthCourtesy of XKCD

Here’s a good password: “It’s a good idea, I think, to be SUPER secure!!” Good luck breaking that with your super computer. 47 characters (including strange symbols and cases) and you’ll need more than a dictionary attack to crack a sha256-hashed stored version of it in a websites database. Sprinkle some salt in there and you’re really good to go. Rant over 🙂

Of all the cool Estonians I’ve met, one of them really stands out: Andrus Järg. He was my first boss at Skype, and I’m lucky enough to still work closely with him. He was kind enough to send me my first document to sign. But pause right there. I’ve something about important people in Estonia – they’re completely normal humans like the rest of us. Very down to earth. For example, a former Site Leader of Skype in Tallinn, Tiit Paananen, makes my absolute favorite beer now (Põhjala). He also skydives and does all kinds of other wild fun. Anyway Andrus’ document was signed and sent to me through https://digidoc.sk.ee. You can also sign and send docs through eesti.ee, and there’s a third party service called SignWise I’ve heard of. I’ll review/compare these another time since they haven’t been advertised as the way for e-Residents just yet.

Instead, for now I created a document on my computer, signed it with the ID-kaardi software locally, and have begun asking people to sign it. As promised, the contents of the document are “Hamid Reza Tahsildoost is Batman.”

Signing this document locally was easy: First I installed the ID-kaardi software (see my previous post). Then I created the Word .doc document, right-clicked on it, Selected “Allkirjasta Digitaalselt” (means “Sign Digitally) and followed simple on screen instructions to sign it! The result was a .ddoc, with a very important truth in it.

batman_logo

Now it’s your turn. Send me your email (@eesti.ee if you have one) and I will send you the latest version of my document to sign!! Easiest way to reach me is hamidreza.sb@gmail.com (security note: this email forwards to my real email, that helps me do some filtering tricks with spam). I’ll try to keep my online version of this doc updated, feel free to download and share.
Stay tuned til next time. Meanwhile this news report does a good job explaining e-Residency http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4136006.htm

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