Top 60 Toomas Hendrik Ilves Quotes of 2020

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“Fake news is cheap to produce. Genuine journalism is expensive.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Sanctions work over time. They do work, but it takes years for them to have an effect.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Big data knows and can deduce more about you than Big Brother ever could.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“When hackers have access to powerful computers that use brute force hacking, they can crack almost any password; even one user with insecure access being successfully hacked can result in a major breach.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The E-government cabinet, E-health services, online voting, online pre-filled tax returns, e-mobile parking, are all examples of Estonian innovation, but far more importantly, they are examples of the transformative power of intensive and extensive use of Information Technology in the public sector.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“In Germany, a country that for obvious reasons is far more attuned than most to the dangers of demagogy, populism, and nationalism, lawmakers have already proposed taking legal measures against fake news. When populist, nationalist fake news threatens the liberal democratic center, other Europeans may follow suit.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“People who come out of the liberal arts don’t have an understanding of science and technology, and the people in science and technology have very little experience with liberal arts and the traditions of a liberal democracy.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The whole information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure must be regarded as an ‘ecosystem’ in which everything is interconnected. It functions as a whole; it must be defended as a whole.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I was the child of refugees.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“In a modern digitalized world, it is possible to paralyze a country without attacking its defense forces: The country can be ruined by simply bringing its SCADA systems to a halt. To impoverish a country, one can erase its banking records. The most sophisticated military technology can be rendered irrelevant. In cyberspace, no country is an island.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“There is no Baltic identity with a common culture, language group, religious tradition.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“When Estonia reestablished its sovereignty after a half century of successive thuggish, totalitarian, foreign occupations by the Soviets, the Nazis, and then again the Soviets, we knew we wanted to create a democratic country characterized by rule of law and respect for human rights.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Generally, people’s fear and hesitancy regarding greater computerization comes from a George Orwell/’1984′-based metaphor of a single computer or data base where all your information is stored, knows everything about you, and can use this information at will and for evil purposes.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy?”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I’ve been in and out of academia ever since I was young.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I remember starting to read about the Soviet Union when I was eight years old; I think I was reading my father’s ‘New York Times.’”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The first time cyber was even a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference, which is – I mean, we’ve got hundreds of specialists there – was 2011. That’s how long it took.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The thing people forget is that the entire world – or, at least, Europe, U.S., transatlantic, Russia, Soviet Union – that security architecture has been in place since 1945 and has been refined. Already, the U.N. charter that everyone signed is that you can’t change borders through use of force or even threat of use of force.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The fake news is – I mean, as a tool of warfare – has been there for decades and decades and decades. It was never very well done until, really, the Ukraine, though I would say that the Russians used to complain about fake things to say the State Department.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I knew who Bruce Springsteen was before he had his first record.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“That was something that shaped my thinking regarding Estonia: the idea that we should be getting our young people to work with computers.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“When our diplomats go abroad, they are surprised that they can’t do the things that they can do here.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The problem of online identity is expressed best in an old ‘New Yorker’ cartoon with a picture of a dog next to a computer, and the dog says, ‘No one online knows you’re a dog.’”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I realised that if we were not in the E.U., there were people in the E.U. who were also members of NATO that would veto our joining NATO.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“In both Russia and the U.S., there are a very small number of very, very rich people, and then there are a lot of people who don’t have anything. The less inequality you have in a society, the more social peace you have. It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Democracy is messy, clearly, but it has one key factor, which is an orderly transfer of power.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Digital warfare, in the Clausewitz definition as ‘the continuation of policy by other means,’ reached Western public consciousness via my own country, Estonia, in 2007 when our governmental, banking, and news media servers were hit with ‘distributed denial-of-service attacks,’ which is when hackers overload servers until they shut down.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Democracies stand on several key pillars: Free and fair elections, human rights, the rule of law, and a free untrammeled media. Until 2016, an open media was seen as a resilient democratic pillar that supported the others.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“It is hard to work with the nagging doubt that perhaps some foreign intelligence agency is reading all your correspondence, especially when you know they have done so in the past.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Social media has become a primary factor in political campaigns.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Liberal democracies do not and often cannot respond in kind to cyberattacks on their own way of governance.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Can the wider West establish a global ‘cyber NATO?’ It would be difficult, but so, too, was the founding of NATO itself, which was called into being only after successive communist coups in Eastern Europe.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Until defense of democracy in the digital era is taken up by governments collectively, both in NATO and outside the alliance, liberal democracies will remain vulnerable to the cyberthreats of the 21st century.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“In Russia, tweeting or sharing real news that’s embarrassing to the regime can land you in prison. Imagine, then, the response of the regime to ‘fake news’ that’s damaging to the Kremlin.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The Russian Federation’s practice of instant citizenship, whereby Russian passports are distributed willy-nilly to ethnic Russians abroad so they can be ‘protected’ in their current homeland, is unacceptable. Passports are travel documents, not a tool to justify aggression.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Nothing costs more than the loss of freedom.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Diplomacy between a powerful, victorious army and a side that’s losing doesn’t really work well.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The minute a collective alliance fails to live up to its agreement to collective defence, then from that moment on, everybody is on the run.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously by everyone.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“In cyberwarfare, it is much harder to identify the attacker and, therefore, to know how to retaliate.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The domestic policy of any president, U.S. or otherwise, is his or her own concern, as long as democratic norms are followed.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Everything can be known and, in some cases, everything is known.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The rights that people have offline must also be protected online.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Since I’ve been writing about things my entire life, I thought, ‘Well, that’s what I would do as a president is to read and then write and talk about things that are interesting to me.’”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“There was a period in my life when I was very young that I wrote a sonnet a day just to learn concision in writing.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“The Soviet Union collapsed without a lot of people thinking it should or would, whereas for Estonia, it was something we’d been praying for for 60 years.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“People have actually figured out that Estonia is one of the few post-Communist countries that has a genuine image in people’s minds as being something.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I’m an American by accent, and I grew up in the States, living there between the age of three and 24.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“My American undergraduate education probably gave me a better idea of the fundamentals of what European civilization is about, better than the undergraduate education you get at most European universities.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I was surprised by some of my French colleagues who immediately assumed that because I spoke English with an American accent, that, therefore, you must be a supporter of whoever is the current president of the United States. There seems to be this widespread feeling that, ‘Oh, American accent – therefore, you like cowboy boots.’”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“George Bush and I share a love of steel brush cutters. It turns out we use the same professional brush cutter. He asked me what I did. I said I cut brush. He says, ‘Oh, what do you use?’ I said steel. He goes, ‘Oh, me too.’”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Russia has had very aggressive military exercises. They’ve practiced mock nuclear attacks on Warsaw. Russian bombers practiced attacking strategic military targets in Sweden. The military aggression gets everybody nervous.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“It’s much cheaper to influence elections than it is to go to war.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“I’m not afraid of code. I mean, I understand how these things work. I thought that that was the one area where Estonia was playing on a level playing field.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Little by little, we’re becoming a boring Nordic country.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Where a country lies is a subjective decision and only in part a product of its own desire. Much, if not most, is determined by what others believe about it.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“We Estonians will do what is necessary to join the European Union.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“Brits, Scandinavians, Finns, Estonians consider themselves rational, logical, unencumbered by emotional arguments; we are businesslike, stubborn, and hard-working.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“When your country is in dire straits, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a social democrat or not.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves

“If getting young people computer-literate through putting school systems online is a no-brainer, at least in retrospect, getting older people and those in rural areas online can be a tougher nut to crack.”

― Toomas Hendrik Ilves
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