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How Estonia Becomes A Digital Republic With A Future for Everyone

Published Tue, Oct 20 2020 07:42 am
by The Silicon Trend

 

 

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ESTONIA – is a digital republic with a future for everyone


  “The Most Advanced Digital Society in the world”

                                                                             – Wired

 

Estonia has built an efficient, secure, and transparent ecosystem where 99% of government websites are online. In this digitalized world, how the citizens are dealing with the government and public sector where the new technology-driven by the possibilities are opened. 

 

Timeline of Estonia in transforming to the Digital Republic

Year 

Events 

1994 

The first drafts of “Principles of Estonian information Policy” 

1996 

Launch of the Tiger leap initiative 

First e-Banking services 

1997 

E-Governance 

2000 

E- Cabinet meeting 

E- Tax Board 

M- Parking 

2001 

X- Road  

2002 

Digital ID and signature, E- school 

2005 

I – Voting 

2007 

Mobile ID, cybersecurity 

2008 

E-Health, Blockchain technology 

2010 

E- Prescription 

2013 

Public services green paper 

2014 

Road administration’s e-portal, e-residency 

2015 

Worlds first data embassy 

2017 

NIIS X- Road consortium 

2018 

Seamless services Roadmap 

2019 

Government AI Strategy 

 

For the Government and public sector, the scope is not only delivering services better, faster, and improving results but also minimizing the costs. Estonia began to build its digital society through an e-governance system by providing public services online from 1997. As of today, 99% of public services are available through e-services.

 


Steppingstones of Estonia 

 

When the base of the digital republic started to establish in 1997, only 1.7 percent of Estonian citizens have their internet access. The government of the newly formed state of Estonia foresees the formation of a digital society, where all citizens would be technologically literate and the government would be paperless, decentralized, transparent, efficient, and equitable.    

The government of Estonia launched a project called “Tiigrihüpe (Tiger Leap) in 1997, by investing more in expanding the network infrastructure and to develop computer literacy. Within a year of its outset, almost 97% of Estonian schools have internet access. By 2000, Estonia was the first country to pass legislation declaring the ‘Internet a basic human right’. Wi-Fi hotspots started setting up in 2001 and it covers almost all populated areas.

 The government clearly understands that to create a knowledge-based society, the information should be shared efficiently by conserving its privacy. Two decades ago, in 2001 Estonia emerged an anti-silo data management system called X- Road where public and private organizations can perform data transactions securely by maintaining data privacy through cryptography with the partnership of the Finnish government. 

In 2007, this X-Road (centralized data management system) attacked by a Russian IP address which then made the Estonian government build the distributed technology that is resistant to cyber-attack. To fulfill this need, Estonia is the first country to use Blockchain technology in 2012 for governance.

 


The Existence of Blockchain Technology


Blockchain technology is otherwise known as Distributed ledger technology, is the supporting-structure technology of cryptocurrency Bitcoin. This technology moved on remarkably since its establishment in 2009 and is now used for various applications from supply chains to fighting injustice. Blockchain is the open-source distributed ledger, where the updated copy of records available to all collaborators at all times. Hence it is distributed in nature it cannot be hacked by any single person or company ensuring security against cyber-attacks.

 


Reasons behind the Estonian Digital Republic 

 

 By deploying Blockchain technology the power of mutating data by the citizens in Estonia using their digital identities gives more control over their data. Any government official can never access the data even it carries a good reason.

The Economist recently noted that it's ironic that a technology loved by people who understandably want less government in their lives is increasingly used by governments too. Blockchain has the power to transfigure virtually every strand of our lives which improves democracy and provides greater opportunities. This is possible only by unleashing the full potential with the support and cooperation of the government. 


E- Residency is Estonia’s gift to the world with the primary benefit of the ability to establish and manage a trusted location-independent company entirely online. Through this Estonia is ready to support blockchain pioneers from anywhere in the world so they can build the future through digital infrastructure, even without stepping foot in Estonia.