[Cryptography] Quantum computers and the Government

John Levine johnl at iecc.com
Wed Sep 1 21:56:43 EDT 2021

It appears that Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> said:
>Re: "It's sort of like asking in 1962 when commercial vendors
>were just figuring out how to manufacture reliable individual
>transistors whether a secret government lab had a 10,000 element
>microprocessor chip. Not likely."
>It's sort of like the Germans and Japanese asking in 1941 when
>electromechanical encryption machines were just becoming
>available whether a secret govt lab had an *electronic* code-
>breaking computer. Not likely.  ;-)

Now, now. In 1918 Scherbius patented the Enigma and Eccles and Jordan
patented the electronic flip-flop (report published in 1919, patent
issued in 1920.) Enigmas were sold commercially starting in 1923.

As you surely know, the Bombe was entirely electromechanical, a much
faster parallel implementation of the Enigma. Colossus broke the
Lorenz teletypewriter code which used Vernam's XOR trick invented in
1917 and used commercially starting in the 1920s.

Maybe there is a way to get qubits to work that has been lurking in plain sight
for the past two decades, but I'm not holding my breath.  But just in case,
quantum resistant crypto is a good idea.


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