Tomorrow, November 17, the flags of the United States and Poland will be raised during a formal ceremony at the NATO Cyber Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. Our Estonian allies established the Center in 2004. It’s mission is to “enhance the capability, cooperation, and information sharing among NATO, NATO nations, and partners in cyber defense.” The U.S. has had staff at the Center since 2007 and we are very active at home, in the Alliance, and internationally on cyber security. Now we are finally saying count us in officially as full members!
President Obama’s International Strategy for Cyberspace declares that we will seek to ensure as many stakeholders as possible are included in our vision of cyberspace. That vision calls for an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free expression and innovation. That is why we are joining the NATO Cyber Center in Tallinn.
I was introduced to Estonia’s NATO Cyber Center shortly after my arrival in Tallinn as U.S. Ambassador in 2009 and I have ever since admired the Center’s work, including it’s impressive annual conferences on cyber conflict. Estonia’s standing as a cyber-savvy nation is firmly established internationally and the NATO Cyber Center contributes to that reputation. The cyber world is a rapidly evolving environment and threats to our cyber -based infrastructure, both public and private, as multiplying with equal of not greater speed. With our new membership in the Tallinn Center we look forward to working with all the current and also future members, in fact with all NATO member countries, to increase cyber awareness and to create the secure cyber environment outlined in the U.S. cyberspace strategy. We expect to join our Estonian allies in leading the Center and to enhancing the public profile of the Center’s work and the collaboration between private sector and Alliance efforts.
When the Polish and U.S. flags are raised on November 17, look also for the curtain to rise on the next chapter of an important collective asset of the NATO Alliance.