When Cathy Wang was stuck in Dubai without her Estonian ID card reader last summer, she tweeted a plea to expat Estonians in the Gulf city, in the hope of finding one she might be able to borrow.

In a sign of just how small and tight-knit the Estonian community is, the country’s tech-savvy president Toomas Hendrik Ilves retweeted the message himself.

This was all so that Wang, a Canadian-Taiwanese user experience designer, could file her Estonian corporate taxes from the United Arab Emirates. As the owner of a business based in Tallinn at the time, the 32-year-old qualified for an Estonian ID card used to access everyday services online.

In an online world that is more connected that ever before, the tiny eastern European country Estonia – or E-stonia as it has been dubbed – has breaking geographical boundaries with online technology for years.

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