Concept of Adulthood

The legal status of "adult" is earned by passing oral and scenario simulation tests administered at the local, state, and federal levels, in that order, and on an appeals basis.   These tests can examine only those areas of conduct that impinge upon the rights of others and must distinguish only on the basis of performance in these areas.   Status as an adult is suspended while a convicted individual is imprisoned for a crime, and only then.   In particular, the right to vote and to hold public office are restored upon release.   The property of an imprisoned individual remains his property.

To be an adult, an individual must be sexually mature or at least 18 years of age.

A non-adult who is sexually mature or at least 18 years of age cannot be impeded, other than by the requirement of satisfactory test performance, in any attempt to achieve the status of adult.

Upon successful passage of an adulthood test, the individual is issued a certificate which is encrypted in a mutable passphrase of his choice, which can be presented as sufficient proof of adult status for any anonymous but adult-only activity.   It is a minor crime to reveal the passphrase, or decrypted certificate, to a non-adult.

The adulthood certificate contains a 46 bit number chosen by taking a true random 46 bit number and incrementing it until a number results which is not in the database.   To this 46 bit number is appended a 20 bit checksum of the number formed from the 20 least significant bits of the product of the lower 26, and the upper 20 bits shifted 26 bits toward the least significant bit.   From the number and the checksum a 64 bit certificate identifier is formed.   The certificate identifier is decrypted (signature mode) using an asymmetric keypair whose decryption key is held in confidence by the state, and whose encryption (verification) key is widely published.   A 32 bit sequence identifier is appended, and used to identify which keypair was used in the decryption operation.   Sequence identifiers must be allocated using the same random-unique technique as for certificate numbers themselves.   The state is forbidden to store any information which would facilitate identification of the individual to whom the certificate has been issued.   The state must make available a fee-free mechanism whereby the current validity of the certificate identifier can be verified.   This mechanism cannot maintain any record of verification queries.

Certificate and sequence identifiers are never reused.

A compromise of a certificate causes the entry for that certificate to be flagged invalid in the database.   A compromise of a certification keypair causes the entries for all certificates signed with that keypair to be flagged invalid.   Certificates cannot otherwise be invalidated.

Compromise of a certificate means that the passphrase for the certificate, or the decrypted certificate, has been made accessible to non-adults.

Compromise of a certification keypair means that the private portion of the keypair has been made accessible to anyone who is not a state employee who is formally a trustee of the keypair.   There must be only one such trustee per testing facility.

No law can forbid, restrict, or provide penalties for, the exchange and distribution of adulthood certificates among adults.

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This is a preliminary draft. Pending changes are in The To-Do List