[Cryptography] Quantum computers and the Government

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Tue Sep 7 15:08:38 EDT 2021

On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 9:54 PM <gary at executabl.es> wrote:
> What are the odds that governments already have quantum computers capable of breaking encryption (or will soon) and not tell anyone? RSA encryption, after all, was discovered and kept secret by the British government several years before it was "discovered" by the public; Especially with how weak certain common encryption schemes may be to quantum computers, it would be plausible that governments are rushing to develop and exploit this technology before the public has access to it. Wouldn't it make sense to start making the switch to quantum-resistant algorithms before such computers are publicly or commercially available to stop something like this from happening?

Since I do not know, I can comment. ;-)

So far these are fickle machines and order to delivery could be years.
ITAR shipping limitations will apply.  The machines simply need to
have a couple benchmark metrics for ITAR law to classify them with.

Facilities: A classic machine room may be insufficient.  i.e.
engineering challenge to control a quantum computer and to make sure
that its state will not be affected by various sources of error.
Watch for construction of rooms.

A one time friend was an early insider to Wham-O Mfg, he commented
that they had no patent but managed to tie up all the contract
injection plastic molding equipment so competition was limited.

Obviously we need such a machine to calculate the odds; which is
central to the question.

Follow the WW2 enigma machine history for hints.  Decoded messages
(ULTRA) were not widely distributed if at all.  There was a risk of
losing the advantage.  Thus it had to be managed and verified out of
band in ways that kept the secret about decoding secrets secret.
Start with problems and applications and watch for breakthrough
solutions to hard problems.

Watch for data gathering that obviously has value in the context of a
quantum solution horizon.

There are multiple companies and groups working on this... I doubt
real hardware exists sufficient to break encryption.
Existing hardware may be busy looking for secret key generation flaws.


          T o m    M i t c h e l l  (on NiftyEgg[.]com )

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