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Diplomats from EU and NATO countries will discuss essential cyberspace issues in Tallinn this week

22. July 2019 - 14:00

The first-ever Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy begins today, 22 July, bringing to Estonia approximately 80 diplomats, researchers and experts engaged in cyber issues from a total of 26 countries in Europe and beyond. The five-day event will address, among other things, topics such as 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 Estonia’s Ambassador at Large for Cyber Diplomacy Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, cyber security has in recent years become an important foreign policy issue. “Cyber attacks pose a risk to our economies and welfare,” explains Tiirmaa-Klaar. “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 opening address of the summer school was given by Estonia’s Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop. Over the following five days, participants will attend presentations from high-level diplomats and experts, including Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security of the United States of America Andrea L. Thompson, French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Henri Verdier, Cyber Director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alexander Evans, Assistant Secretary General of NATO Antonio Missiroli, high officials of the European External Action Service and European Commission, and US high-level academic expert Dr James Lewis (Center for Strategic and International Studies). In addition to the discussions, the agenda features a realistic international cyber crisis simulation and visits to the e-Estonia Briefing Centre and NATO CCDCOE.

The topic of cyber-attacks is considered increasingly important by the Estonian population—according to a public opinion survey carried out in spring 2019, people in Estonia consider cyberattacks the most important threat to global security.

Photos (Annika Haas): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFmLdjM
More information about the event: http://www.vm.ee/summerschool

Additional information:

Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
britta.tarvis@mfa.ee
+372 637 7627 / +372 5194 7045

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