Besides voting, another way of practicing democracy is by signing popular / citizen initiatives or optional referendums of certain types. We address the problems related to the electronic remote signing of support for referendums and popular initiatives (e-referendums). We propose, publicly verifiable private credentials (PVPCs) , a type of certified pseudonym digital signatures for which one can publicly prove that only eligible users (belonging to a specified group) got them and that no user got two of them. They can be used to sign citizen initiatives. Our technique generates PVPCs that can be publicly proven to belong to an unknown permutation of the eligible users (proving the aforementioned property). We also argue that e-referendum systems can achieve more success than remote e-voting (being more robust to the main weaknesses of the SERVE project, namely denial-of-service, "Man in the middle", and virus attacks). In particular we provide a technique to reduce the risk of exposure to virus attacks by incorporating manually generated passwords into computer-generated random numbers.
Silaghi, M.C., Kattamuri, K.R. (2005). Publicly verifiable private credentials - a technique for privately signing citizen initiatives (CS-2005-02). Melbourne, FL. Florida Institute of Technology.