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On March 16, 2017, Stanford University Libraries will host an engaging talk by former President of the Republic of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who will discuss:

What is E-identity and Why Do You Need One for the 21st Century?

The current model of communication on the Internet is almost forty years old and has become hopelessly insecure. What is needed to keep the Internet working without ever more damaging hacks is a secure identity, one that allows for two-factor authentication (preferably guaranteed by either a government, an institution or a company). Once this sine qua non minimum exists, e-governance and secure e-services will be able to take off. For genuine e-governance — or e-administration — one needs to provide a digital signature that will hold up in a court of law.

Ilves will illustrate why it works for some and not others, with examples from Estonia and elsewhere. Ultimately, success or failure does not come down to the technology used but rather policies, regulations, and laws.
The talk will be followed by a reception.


Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the former President of Estonia (2006–2016). In 2017 he joined Stanford University as a Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world’s most pressing security and international cooperation problems.

Ilves has been appointed to serve in several high positions in the field of ICT in the European Union. Starting from 2016, Ilves co-chairs The World Economic Forum working group The Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology. Ilves has published many essays and articles in Estonian and English on numerous topics ranging from Estonian language, history, and literature to global foreign and security policy and cyber security.

Ilves has received numerous awards and honorary degrees from organizations worldwide. Most recently, Bertelsmann Stiftung awarded Ilves with the Reinhard Mohn Prize “Smart Country: Connected. Intelligent. Digital” in honor of his pioneering work on the promotion of digitalization in government, education and public services.

In a series of talks hosted by Stanford Libraries, Toomas Hendrik Ilves will address topics ranging from e-society and digital entrepreneurship to cyber security and geopolitical challenges of the Baltic countries. His next talk is scheduled to take place on April 13.


Thursday, March 16, 2017
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Bender Room, Green Library
Admission: Free and open to the public. RSVP requested.

Closest free parking may be found on Galvez St., Serra St., or Roth Way


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