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President Ilves at Harvard University: all members of NATO must share a common understanding of cyber security

Just like we all know in NATO what standards the tanks, airplanes and ammunition of the alliance have to meet, we also need similar international cooperation between the allies in defining common standards in the sphere of cyber security, emphasised the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who yesterday delivered a lecture at Harvard University.

"We see the academic world paying more and more attention to cyber security and the same commitment must be characteristic to all politicians and military personnel of NATO member states," the Estonian Head of State told the audience. "Even the most sceptical should know by now that cyber security is not merely a technical nuance or solely the sphere of intelligence; this is one of the most burning challenges of a democratic country – no matter whether we're speaking about the protection of vital infrastructure or intellectual property."

President Ilves described Estonia as a forward-looking and safe e-country that is contemporary and that reaches out a helping hand to others, that knows how to safeguard the personal data of its citizens and is successful in organising e-elections.

"It's natural therefore that Estonia has become an example for the maintenance of cyber security and the use of e-solutions within both NATO and the European Union, said President Ilves, who considered cooperation between these two influential international organisations, which is today regrettably non-existent, to be of vital importance.

"I do hope that the NATO summit in Chicago will once again define the safeguarding of cyber security as a common challenge for all members of the alliance and that in the future no one can wave it away, as if to say 'let others do whatever they want, this is not our problem'," stated the Estonian Head of State. "If someone leaves their own front open to attack, winning this war will be difficult."

After the lecture President Ilves met with Henry Kissinger, who helped shape the United States of America's modern foreign policy.

The Estonian Head of State will today speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, participate in a round table convened to discuss strategic cyber issues at the US Department of State with some of the top specialists in cyber security from US government agencies, and meet with Howard Schmidt, Cybersecurity Coordinator at the White House and Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State.

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