Inaugural cyber diplomacy summer school begins in Tallinn

Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy began in the capital of Estonia on Monday. July 22, 2019.
Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy began in the capital of Estonia on Monday. July 22, 2019. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr

The first ever Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy began on Monday, bringing some 80 diplomats, researchers and experts engaged in cyber issues from a total of 26 countries to Estonia to discuss a variety of issues.

The five-day event will address, among other things, topics including international law and norms in cyberspace, the role of cyber operations in modern conflict, the improvement of cyber resilience and deterrence, and internet administration and freedom, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

According to Estonia's Ambassador at Large for Cyber Diplomacy Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, cybersecurity has in recent years become an important foreign policy issue.

"Cyber attacks pose a risk to our economies and welfare," Tiirmaa-Klaar explained. "Extensive cyber attacks in recent years such as WannaCry and NotPetya have certainly increased public awareness, as have debates around the societal effect of technology more broadly. Estonia's experiences make it a pioneer in this regard — we have been contributing to the international discussion on cyber norms since 2007."

The objective of the summer school is to help diplomats from EU and NATO countries achieve a more in-depth understanding of the complicated cyber security related strategic and technological development topics as well as assist in the implementation of the norms and international law in cyberspace.

"What is happening in cyberspace is increasingly affecting international relations," said Tiirmaa-Klaar. "Politicians and diplomats will have to face more and more complicated discussions on how to ensure an open and secure internet for people and ensure the sustainable development of technology. The summer school will allow Estonia and like-minded countries to look for answers to these questions together with experts."

The summer school's opening address was given by Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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