US intelligence to set up cyber-focused office in Estonia
US intelligence is to open an office in the Estonian capital Tallinn to help boost the fight against cyber-crime, the US embassy in the Baltic state announced Wednesday.
"Estonia was selected as the site for the new secret service office due to both the investigative nexus it provides in combating cyber and financial crimes, as well as the opportunity it provides the agency in the fulfillment of its protective duties within the region," embassy spokesman James Land told AFP.
The office, due to be opened Friday, will have a staff of four.
"Tallinn will also serve as a prime location from which to engage counterparts in Russia and throughout the Nordic region," Land added.
Estonia is an IT industry hub.
After five decades of Soviet rule ended in 1991, the Baltic nation opted to go hi-tech as fast as possible. The European Union nation of 1.3 million became one of the world's most cyber-focused nations, earning the nickname "E-stonia".
Since falling victim to a politically-charged "cyber-war" in 2007 widely blamed on Russian hackers, it has become a leader in finding ways to fending off online attacks, and hosts NATO's IT-defence facility.
It also created a volunteer unit of cyber-experts late last year within the Estonian Defence League, a part-time force equivalent to the National Guard in the United States.
(c) 2011 AFP