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US Secret Service to Set Up Shop in Tallinn

The United States Embassy in Tallinn.
The United States Embassy in Tallinn. Source: (Photo: Postimees/Scanpix)

The United States Embassy will open a Secret Service office in Tallinn in coming weeks to combat cyber crime, such as financial fraud and data protection crimes. 

The team will include four agents, two of who have backgrounds in cyber security, US Ambassador in Tallinn Michael C. Polt told Deutsche Welle in an interview last month. Press attache James Land told Postimees that the four will be comprised of an attache, an assistant attache, an investigator, and an administrative official.

With NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence already residing in Tallinn, the headquarters of the EU's IT security agency - housing the Schengen information center and a large-scale fingerprint database - will begin work here in 2012.

Ambassador Polt rallied Estonia to step up its cyber security approach in October. He mentioned the military-oriented US Cyber Command. "[This] should suggest to you the obvious. If it's a military command, it's not going to be just about cyber defense, it's going to be about cyber offense. Do you have a problem with that? Does that bother you?" Polt said. "[Estonians] have to have a view on this issue. You can't be indifferent."

Having already launched an IT unit in the Defense League - a voluntary military reserve force - former Minister of Defense Jaak Aaviksoo also proposed in January the initiation of a military draft specializing in cyber defense. Estonia is also to launch a two-person virtual police station to fight sexual abuse and child pornography in the internet.

The US Secret Service office in Estonia was reportedly to have started work last fall already.


Ott Tammik

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