On World Stage, Jersey Boy Takes on Cybercrime
When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, nearly all of its Central Asian “republics” retained their local dictators and even today remain at least politically frozen in time. But on the European side of the vast Soviet empire tiny Estonia grabbed for all of the freedoms it had been denied for five decades — and then some.
Today it is a member of NATO and the European Union, a world leader in use of the Internet (it’s sometimes called Estonia) and an unwavering friend of the United States.
Its president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who grew up in New Jersey and has degrees from Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, was among those who returned to the land his parents had fled when the Soviets invaded. And if he thought he owed a debt to the country that sheltered him during his formative years, he has been repaying it in full with some sage advice on cybersecurity.
“In today’s warfare you don’t have to attack a country with an army. You can wipe out a country’s economy by attacking its banks,” he told a forum last week at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
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