Peer-to-Peer Immigration

Van Mensvoort
January 22nd 2008

peer to peer passportAt the beginning of the computer era, many objects and experiences from everyday life were transferred to the digital environment in order to make technology understandable (think of the computer desktop folders, buttons, painting brush, trashcan, etc). Today, digital technology has become so omnipresent that metaphors from the virtual environment start boomeranging to our physical environment.Already we have seen the Physical/Digital Trashcan, the Delete-Key-Eraser, Sim City urban planners, Vote XP, the Digizerk and the Avatarian Graveyard. Now Ricardo Portilho proposes to transfer the principle of peer-to-peer file sharing over the internet -mostly immune to government and corporate regulations- to our globalized world. The Citizenship Exchange project aims to tackle immigration problems with a simple and universal strategy: A peer-to-peer immigration; A citizen would gain the citizenship of a foreign country for a time given, in the base of mutual agreement with a native citizen of this country. With citizenship exchange, immigration departs from the state control, becoming a person-to-person agreement.peer to peer passport insideEach of the citizens involved in the trade get the same timespan of citizenship in the country of the "trade-partner". A person-to-person exchange might be a much more humane way of dealing with immigration in a globalized world than current bureaucratic practice.While citizenship exchange might be difficult to implement overnight -since multiple countries would have to coorperate- the project is already succesfull in raising awareness about multiculturalism, xenophoby, equality, freedom, international person-to-person commitment and the market characteristics of todays immigrations policies.

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