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Ilves in Washington: All NATO Allies Must Contribute to Cyber Security

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik Ilves Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

NATO’s 2012 Chicago Summit must send a clear message to all 28 members of the alliance that it is high time to start cooperating on cyber defense, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at the US strategic cyber security roundtable on April 12.

A well targeted and forceful cyber attack in the 21st century can have a much more devastating impact than a missile strike and may cause a major crisis, Ilves argued.

He stressed the importance of boosting NATO’s cyber security skills to the level of its traditional military capabilities; enhancing cooperation between NATO and the European Union; and creating an effective partnership between public and private sectors.

Shaping cyber security through volunteer organizations is also a necessary, said Ilves, citing the example of Estonia's Cyber Defense League, which unites IT-volunteers interested in contributing to national defense.

The roundtable was organized in Washington by Chris Painter, coordinator for cyber issues at the US State Department, and brought together US cyber security experts.

On April 12, Ilves also met with Cyber Security Coordinator at the White House Howard Schmidt , senior adviser for innovation to Secretary of State, Alec Ross, and president
of the Freedom House foundation, David Kramer.


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