You may know that Estonia has a ‘digital first’ approach to government services. That means that they’ve got wide experience of the issues surrounding international relationships and would like to help others profit from that experience. (Disclosure: I’m an e-citizen of Estonia)…:
[…] The news is that now, with the creation of the Department for Cyber Diplomacy, we can more actively improve international cooperation on the matter. Headed by Ambassador-at-Large for Cyber Security Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, the unit falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The timing is right, as Estonia will also be among the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for the next two years.
In this interview, Ambassador Tiirmaa-Klaar outlines the challenges awaiting the new department. Together, we must work to shield our countries from international cyber threats increasingly faster, constantly better.
What is cyber diplomacy and what kind of priorities will the new dedicated Ministry of Foreign Affairs department have?
Almost everything in our economy and society relies on digital infrastructure in some shape or form. This also entails new risks and new questions for international relations. Let’s assume that one country exploits vulnerabilities in the critical infrastructure of another country’s cyberspace. How would you find out, and how can you attribute that attack? How does international law apply? What are the best and proportional response measures?
Cyber diplomacy deals with those questions. It has mainly to do with state behaviour in the cyberspace and their compliance with cyber norms, trust-building measures and existing international law. Several cooperation formats have been established in this field at the UN, the OSCE, the EU, NATO, the Council of Europe, the OECD and other international organisations.