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ERR News - The US Secret Service opened its Estonian office in the Pirita district of the capital on May 20 to serve as the headquarters "to engage counterparts" in Russia and the Nordic region.
"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," stated the US Embassy in Tallinn.

The office includes four agents, two of whom have backgrounds in cyber security, US Ambassador in Tallinn Michael C. Polt said earlier. Embassy representatives said the team will be comprised of an attaché, an assistant attaché, an investigator and an administrative employee.
According to the embassy the Secret Service's responsibilities include protecting the US president and combating financial crimes. "It will also seek to assist our host nation and its neighbors in the protection of their national leaders, visiting heads of state and government officials."
With NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence already residing in Tallinn, the headquarters of the EU's IT security agency - housing the Schengen information center and a large-scale fingerprint database - will begin work here in 2012.
In October, Ambassador Polt rallied Estonia to step up its cyber security approach. He mentioned the military-oriented US Cyber Command. "[This] should suggest to you the obvious. If it's a military command, it's not going to be just about cyber defense, it's going to be about cyber offense. Do you have a problem with that? Does that bother you?" Polt said. "[Esto-nians] have to have a view on this issue. You can't be indifferent."
Having already launched an IT unit in the Defense League - a voluntary military reserve force - former Minister of Defense Jaak Aaviksoo also proposed in January the initiation of a military draft specializing in cyber defense. Estonia is also to launch a two-person virtual police station to fight sexual abuse and child pornography on the internet.
The embassy initially reported that the US Secret Service office in Estonia would open last fall.


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