16:25 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Fears of E-Identity Theft Cause Estonia to Suspend Online ID Service

    CC BY 2.0 / EU2017EE Estonian Presidency / ID card reader
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    Estonia has ordered the shutdown of its vaunted online government service because of the "real threat" of e-identity theft for hundreds of thousands of citizens.

    Hundreds of thousands of Estonians will be locked out of the country's digital services from midnight on Friday due to a security issue.

    Tallinn has ordered the shutdown after a flaw with the encryption in the online ID service was identified earlier this year which could be used by hackers to access citizens' data or impersonate them.

    "As far as we currently know, there have been no instances of e-identity theft, but the threat assessment of the Police and Border Guard Board and the Information System Authority indicates that this threat has become real," Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas said.

    ​As a result of the shutdown, 760,000 people will be unable to access Estonia's online government services, which are seen as a pioneer of e-government and give those with a digital ID card access to a range of government and private services such as medical and pension records, voting and banking. 


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