Cyberconscripts: Baltic draftees can choose IT over infantry

LILLE, France (AP) — The tiny Baltic nation of Estonia is experimenting with the idea of cyberconscription, giving draftees with tech skills the chance to step into roles defending the military’s electronic infrastructure.

The program was described to The Associated Press on Tuesday by Estonian defense official Erki Kodar at a conference in the French city of Lille. He says it is still in its pilot phase.

Kodar says there are so far only between 10 and 20 places in the military for cyberconscripts and that they’ve been given relatively low-level work like staffing help desks.

Militaries across the world have long struggled to attract and keep cybersecurity professionals in the face of fierce private-sector competition.

Although this form of conscription is unusual, many militaries have cybersecurity professionals in their reserves.