The Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) in Zimbabwe has meted terror on the people for more than three decades. The people live in fear of the CIO. The CIO is a central hub in the oppressive machinery.
The CIO in Zimbabwe is not really gathering information that relates to national security. It gathers information that relates to protecting the security of the despotic regime. It collects domestic information regarding its own people, whom it treats as a threat to national security.
What shall we do? Senzeni? Todii?
The People need to create their own CIO.
The people’s very own CIO needs to be decentralized; it needs to be a “DIO”.
The people do not have an organized intelligence system that will ensure that they do not suffer from abuses by the CIO. The people are not organized. The people are victimized, without any response mainly due to the information asymmetry that exists between the state-sponsored CIO and the average citizen. If this information asymmetry gap is closed, the CIO loses the information edge over the average citizen. The CIO becomes redundant.
The blockchain is ushering a fairly decent solution to this information asymmetry problem.
The basic framework of a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) can be hammered into a special type of DAO that focuses on gathering and disseminating information to and from the public in a manner the essentially creates a decentralized intelligence organization.
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)
What is a DAO? It is an organization that is run by a piece of code (software) without a chain of command or central authority. It exists in thin air. It is a programmed organization.
The organization is not governed by a person or a group of people but by a chain of interconnected smart contracts that can execute themselves on a blockchain. The organization essentially exists on a blockchain.
It's an organization that can run itself without the need for trust relationships to exist between members of the organization. Rules, roles, actions, efforts, and rewards are predesigned and fed into smart contracts. Because these contracts can “self-execute” (they are smart), the organization does not need someone to enforce the contracts.
You can think of a DAO as a business that has no owner, no director, no MD, and no board of directors, but operates successfully paying employees and suppliers in time whilst collecting payments from customers in time. Smart contracts perform all the administrative work.
The autonomous part is that every member of the organization works independently without a boss. There is no boss. The ultimate DAO eliminates human intermediaries.
The idea of a DAO is revolutionary.
Think of this — What does the CIO in Zimbabwe really do? It gathers, processes, and analyzes information that relates to “national security”.
Now think of the blockchain and what it can do? The blockchain can allow the people of Zimbabwe to create a DAO that only focuses on gathering, processing, and analyzing information that relates to the domestic abuse of citizens by the CIO.
The people want to have something similar. What if every individual person who fears CIOs in Zimbabwe could be turned into a gatherer of intelligence?
The blockchain offers such a possibility. Using blockchain technology, every phone, tablet, or laptop that is in the hands of a Zimbabwean can be turned into a tool for receiving personal and close security information, as well as a tool for submitting gathered information.
Citizens will be able to collect information anonymously, submit it anonymously and receive information anonymously as well. The citizen will thrive in secrecy whilst the CIO will not.
How can this be done?
Creating a DAO is essentially creating several things. You need a blockchain that is capable of storing lots of flat information, data files. The blockchain will basically be made up of files on key persons, just like how the CIO keeps files on persons of interest. The difference being the file is generated by many users and is also accessible to many users.
There has to be a crypto token that can be used for payments within the ecosystem.
The same token can be used for governance. DAOs are basically governance technologies. A governance token allows the holders of the coin to participate in a vote, especially with regards to upgrades and changes on the code that runs the DAO. A governance token truly democratizes decision-making.
There has to be an end-user DAPP that can be utilized by the users to gather information, to receive information, and to make and accept payments. A DAPP is a decentralized application. When the end-user app is decentralized it becomes resistant to hacks and cannot be manipulated by a central gatekeeper.
Smart contracts that connect all these elements are also essential. All these elements have to work fluidly, automatically, and autonomously.
Most importantly, economic incentives have to be built around the DAO to enable users/members/parts to participate.
The DAO can be created focusing on these roles:
- Information gathering
- Information Validation/ Verification
- Information Processing
- Information Analyzing
- Information Dissemination (if need be)
On the information gathering part, citizens essentially become information gatherers. For this performing this activity, they are rewarded in a native token of that DAO’s ecosystem. Obviously, not all information is critical or valuable. The more sensitive and critical the information is, or the more useful the information is, the higher the reward. Usefulness and criticality are primarily determined by the demand for that information but can as well be voted on using a governance token.
You can think of the information gatherers as your street CIO, that go around prying other people's business, the guy disguised as a student at the University of Zimbabwe, or disguised as a vendor in Harare CBD, etc, collecting information to submit to his boss in the CIO. The information-gathering roles essentially turn any Zimbabwean into a CIO. A person can gather info and be rewarded for it if the info is found useful.
On information validation, specific nodes can be awarded the information verification and validation roles. Nodes have to either hold a significant stake or pass certain criteria to be awarded the information validation roles. Incentives can be built in to punish Validator Nodes that validate the wrong information.
You can think of Validators as those bosses to the “street soldier” CIO, except that in this case, there are not really bosses, they are just nodes performing validation services. These nodes will take information (i.e, transactions) sent by information gatherers and try to validate the data, using various methods.
Once validation is conducted, data can either be added onto the official public blockchain or can be reserved for future verification, or totally discarded. This reserved data can be added to a parallel chain. The discarded data is totally lost, never added to any chain. The paralleling and discarding of data are crucial to eliminating noise. The validator nodes are also crucial in adding data that strikes off incorrect data previously added onto the blockchain due to faulty validation.
The Wisdom of the Crowd
The number of people who are against the CIOs is more than the CIOs and the minority whose interests are protected by the CIOs. It is effectively 95% of the country.
The information collected from thousands of Zimbabweans will always be more than the information collected by the CIOs. The wisdom of the crowd applies here.
People want to know who the CIOs are, where they are, and what they are doing. CIOs do not exist in a vacuum. They exist within the context of a society. Data gathered from the crowds can unmask every CIO, thus reducing their effectiveness.
The CIOs thrive in secrecy and disguise. If the cover is blown, they become redundant. They will have to replace the uncovered agent with another one, in a never-ending cycle.
The type of data that can be gathered includes identity, current activity, geo-location, residential address, biodata, educational profile, frequented areas, frequent contacts, previous intelligence activities conducted, et cetera. This information, once verified, can be added onto the blockchain as an immutable record, for all to access.
The geolocation of a CIO can be known using by-the-day, by-the-hour, and live updates from thousands of devices across the nation. The location of a CIO can be stamped on the blockchain, which can be accessed by all. End-user apps, armed with this info will be able to tell a user the number of known and suspected CIOs within his/her vicinity at any given time.
Why would the average person want this data in the first place? The reason is simple, because they are living in fear, and fear will make them want to know. Access to information will give them the freedom that they want.
Why would the average person want to be an information gatherer? The reason is also simple; there is a financial incentive. A bigger reason is to help others. Thousands of people are dedicated and committed to the ideals of freedom and would assist in any safe way. Some people will just gather data and send it to the network because they just can't leave other people’s business.
Data generally has a propensity to flow. This explains why it is very hard to keep a secret, especially when you know it is a secret or when you are told that it is a secret. Even the owner of the secret does not feel comfortable unless he tells someone that secret, and then prescribes that other person not to tell anyone, even though it is common sense that that other person would also burn from trying to keep the secret.
The wisdom of the crowds would suggest that the totality of information in individual hands would be greater than the information in the CIOs hands at any given point in time. The key is to tap into the information in individual hands and make it publicly available for all, including the CIOs.
Trustless Anonymous Machine
The power of a DIO is anonymity. Users can be able to gather data and send it to the network, for validation, while being anonymous. Validators can validate anonymously, and anyone can be a validator. The consumers of data can also consume it anonymously.
This anonymity is powerful. Activities that were never reported anywhere would have a channel where they can be reported and broadcasted to a network. The quantity of available data will be of an order of magnitude previously unthought of.
Analyzers of blockchain data can be rewarded for their efforts within the ecosystem by consumers of the data. This can be done trustlessly, as false analysis gets punished and correct analysis gets rewarded, with the code pruning out false analysts over time. This creates an efficient layer of nodes that can synthesize seemingly random data into information that can be consumed by the public.
The DIO could easily turn into a giant trustless anonymous machine for data gathering, analysis, and disbursement.
A 51% attack is possible, but it will be very expensive for anyone or any group to pull that off. If the tokenomics of the initial distribution are right, then it follows that a wide distribution can be maintained. A situation can be conceived whereby the state using the CIOs, attempt to buy a lot of coins from the open market to effectively control a significant stake.
Whilst this is theoretically possible, the reality is that such a purchase drive would be super expensive because every purchase takes a portion out of the open market, thus driving up the price. If the state security agents own say 10% of the coins at a point in time, trying to buy another 5% will possibly drive up the price by 30%. Buying another 5% will drive up the price up by 70%, and the increases are exponential. The price will reach a level that the state cannot meet before reaching the 51% needed to attack the system and vote for a change in the protocol.
What would give the token value? The native coin for the ecosystem can be used for transactions. What would make these transactions valuable? What key incentives would make a person choose to part with his fiat currency or goods in exchange for the coin?
The coin can be used to purchase analytical reports and verified data. The value of reports will vary depending on demand. A dynamic price adjustment mechanism can be hardcoded into the algorithm. For a user to obtain certain reports, profiles, data files, he will have to fork out a certain number of coins. If he does not have these coins, he would have to buy them from a user that has. Thus, he will have to give that user fiat currency, other cryptocurrencies, or goods in exchange for the DIO coins that he wants.
Where will the users obtain the coins from? Coins can be granted to information gatherers as a reward for obtaining useful information. The best criteria for useful information being the demand for that information, along with many other metrics. Essentially, the consumer of information is paying the gatherer of that information, indirectly and anonymously. All the value is going through the smart contracts that levy a fee to the consumer and pay the validator, the information gatherer, and the analyst, automatically.
Information that is not demanded is consumed for free. The gatherer would thus have gathered that info for free, as he is not paid for that role. The validator would be in negative, that is, penalized by the network for validating such information. He has to pay a small fee to the network. The validator is thus disincentivized from validating everything (bamba zonke).
Information that is free and filed in the parallel chain can be consumed by anyone. Using the Mosaic Theory, anyone can patch together seemingly random pieces of data into meaningful information that can be added onto the blockchain. This is the role of the analysts. Anyone can be an analyst. Analysts get paid when their pieces of analysis are demanded. They are paid using the token. Analysts can also choose to pay the certain information gatherers that have information that has not been verified and demanded (i.e., free) so as to incentivize those gatherers to collect more of the information that the analyst used. The analyst pays the gatherer using the token.
In American movies that involve the CIA and the FBI, there is always a file on someone. The following line is used very often, “I have read your file”. Everyone has a file. Everyone. Criminals. FBI and CIA agents, Presidents, school kids, everyone. These files are kept in a closed system by the FBI or the CIA. Only authorized users can access them. These movies actually depict reality. The reality is that it is easy to organize information relating to specific individuals or organizations in individual files. It's an excellent filing system.
Now, if you have a network that generates files on thousands of people, autonomously, and you have analysts that compile files, you are bound to generate a demand for those files. It's Say’s Law. The supply creates its own demand. Files will be demanded, for reasons that have nothing to do with personal or national security. This demand will drive up the price of the tokens.
In short, it is an information-on-demand ecosystem, where the native token is the currency for that ecosystem. Those who don't have the currency required by the DIO have to buy the token using other currencies. That is the basis for the value of the token when measured using currencies other than the token itself.
Where do the first tokens come from? The DIO could be structured with a finite supply of tokens, say 10,000,000 tokens, so as to allow the value of the tokens to appreciate over time. The supply could be released into the ecosystem over a period of years, say three. The coins can be released into the ecosystem by rewarding the first batch of information gatherers that enter the ecosystem. Without information, the DIO cannot take off. Granting newly minted coins to gatherers would allow a reasonable number to start gathering data and accumulating tokens.
This is the basis for the tokenomics, incentives, and reward systems.
Under the proof of stake method, whoever holds the most coins and stakes them, will be able to participate in the governance decisions of the DIO when new proposals to change the code are presented. If the DIO grows big, the incentive to participate in these changes would also be big and thus have a value of some sort.
Network Security and Maintenance
The network can be secured using a combination of proof of stake, proof of reliability, and proof of contribution consensus protocols. These are inexpensive to run and maintain.
Those who choose to stake can be rewarded with interest every year. The interest would come from the treasury funds. These are funds that will have been schemed off the top by the DIO when consumers of data pay the network, and the network pays the gatherer and validator.
For example, a consumer pays 5 tokens to the network for accessing a specific file. The network pays 2 tokens to the validator and 2 tokens to the gatherer and keeps 1 token for the treasury fund.
The treasury funds will be utilized for rewarding stakers as well as grants to developers that work on improving the system. Developers working on the system table proposals. The proposals are voted on by those who hold the governance tokens (could be exactly the same as stakers). Successful proposals are granted access to change the system, and the developers are rewarded by the network with a set number of tokens from the treasury fund. These modalities can be set in stone in a smart contract.
Stakers, validators, gatherers, and developers will keep the DIO vibrant and secure.
The CIO thrives on having a monopoly on information. It obtains this monopoly from the state. The state censors any other organization that attempts do what the CIOs do. They term them, terrorists and infidels. They quickly ban them from existence.
The beauty of a DAO is that it is censorship-resistant. The organization has no directors, no CEOs, no secretaries, and no physical office. It has no registration number and it's not a legally recognized entity. In other words, it does not exist, even though it exists.
It is a series of chained smart contracts with no predefined known counterparties invoking the contract. The DIO is essentially a collection of contracts.
You cannot arrest a contract or ban it. Users are anonymous. You cannot identify specific nodes with specific users. Everything is there in the open, but it is hidden as well. Users, validators, gatherers, etc. will never sign up using their names. On connecting to the network, and running a node, users will be allocated names and identities by the system to avoid the mistake of using real names.
The state security agents, police et cetera cannot prevent people from downloading an app and running a node on their computers and phones. Files are distributed, the blockchain is distributed globally, the end-user apps are created as DAPPs thus not subject to state subpoenas, etc.
The DIO will simply be censorship-resistant, incorruptible, and indestructible.
Now the regime might want to arrest the developers responsible for coding the DIO into existence as if they are the owners/creators of the DIO. Such a move can be blocked in advance by making sure that the initial developers are not from Zimbabwe and thus not subject to Zimbabwean laws and jurisdiction. The initial development work can be done by random people in Malta and across the world. The maintenance of the network can also be done by any developer from any part of the world.
Thus, the Zim state and CIOs cannot effectively target the developers, the gatherers, and the validators. They cannot catch anyone. The DIO is resistant.
This is what needs to be done.
The DIO can strike a balance between national security and personal security, because, in the interests of the so-called national security, the personal security of 95% of the population has been under threat with the generality of the populace living in fear.
The people need to create a DIO, the people’s very own CIO.
A DIO is a completely decentralized and distributed public infrastructure system for the protection of the public from the captured, monopolized, and centralized CIO, which is serving the interests of a few individuals in power, working against the broad national interest instead of working for the broad interests of the people.
It's a perfect solution to the principal-agent problem whereby an agent is captured and no longer acting for the best interest of the principal.