Remembering Meelis Roos (1975–2021)

Meelis Roos began his career in Cybernetica in 1998, developing information security systems and helping to create Estonia’s first virtual private network system Privador VPN, the Barricade firewall and the TrueSign software for public key infrastructure management. Meelis was part of the team that built the world’s second publicly available linked timestamping system. Today we know this technology as blockchain.

In the beginning of the 2000s, Meelis maintained the Estonian data exchange network X-Road at Cybernetica, fixing reported bugs and delivering updates. Meelis also helped develop the network security management system for the state network. The Director of the Information System Authority at that time has said that the Estonian e-state relies on enthusiasts. Meelis was one of such enthusiasts.

Meelis had a wide array of knowledge and you could ask him for advice on all kinds of topics, be it work-related or otherwise. He always made time for you and if he didn’t know the answer straight away, he dug around for a day or two and then came back to you. He explained very patiently until you understood, but never treated you as somehow lesser if you didn’t know something. This attitude made the Estonian interoperability network X-Road, authentication and digital signature technologies like Mobile-ID and Smart-ID, Elering’s energy data platform all became better and more secure. Meelis also helped build the digital state in Azerbaijan.

In addition to all that, Meelis also had the energy to work on community projects. He tested and helped fix the source code for Linux kernel. One of his goals was to keep Linux operational on older devices. He contributed to reuse and recycle - advising the technology reuse movement in Tartu on how to fix up computers. Some of the saved devices ended up in the University of Tartu Computer Museum, which was founded by Meelis.

Meelis was the heart and soul of the team, collecting stories and quotes of his colleagues throughout the years. We was a passionate enthusiast and always completed what he started. Meelis gave lectures on information security, operation systems and distributed systems at the University of Tartu. Today, his students help build more secure systems in a large number of Estonian companies as well as state institutions, many of them in Cybernetica, too. He was an integral part of the Estonian e-state, information security, research and education history.

We will remember and endeavour to protect what he created and will carry on his vision for better systems.

Cybernetica AS