The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #9: Jack Interviews the President (of Estonia) About Cyber

By Benjamin Wittes
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:34 PM

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the President of Estonia, a small nation (population about 1.3 million) and also one of the most wired and digitally advanced nations in the world.  Ilves was President of Estonia in 2007 when it famously suffered a massive denial-of-service attack, emanating primarily from Russia, on its government, banking and other important websites.  Ilves speaks perfect English (he grew up in New Jersey and has an undergraduate degree from Columbia and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania).  And he is expert in cybersecurity – he lived through the 2007 attacks and their aftermath, but his digital expertise stretches back to his computer programming training in middle school and his leadership of Estonia’s 1996 “Tiger Leap” project that set Estonia on the path of digital sophistication.  Last week Ilves gave a lecture at Jack’s international cybersecurity class at the Kennedy School, and before the lecture he sat down for this podcast.