According to The Register, NSA in planning to build a quantum computer capable of analysing everything that is going on the Internet. And they have a big budget allocated for it too, around $80 million dedicated for the quantum computer development.
The main goal described is something that the NSA had in mind for some time now. A computer that can perform massive amounts of processes which can break the traditional encryption system. And since we live in an era where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, the NSA wants to keep up with it as much as it can.
“The application of quantum technologies to encryption algorithms threatens to dramatically impact the US government’s ability to both protect its communications and eavesdrop on the communications of foreign governments,” according to an internal document provided by Snowden.
And the US are not alone in quantum computing development. The EU and Switzerland are developing their own quantum computers as well. And the competition may become tense as more and more countries could start developing such computers. Currently, there is only one Canadian company named D-Wave which is selling quantum computing systems to Google and NASA. President Vern Brownell however shed some light on this matter and told The Register that they are only performing quantum-speed calculations for a variety of tasks and not selling full-fledged quantum computers.
D-Wave’s product is based on Shor’s algorithm, a method invented in 1994 using quantum factorization which has the ability to break most modern encryption systems. But Brownell stated that they are not interested in utilizing it for such actions.
“Folks say to us ‘you can’t do Shor’s algorithm,’ but we don’t want to do Shor’s algorithm,” Brownell said. “You can’t build a business around decrypting.”
However, the NSA is surely interested in this particular algorithm and want to build a Shor-based computing system with the funding allocated in their research. If they are successful, the NSA will be able to access any type of security, anywhere in the world, at any given time. But it’s a long way from theoretical talk to practical results.
Thank you The Register for providing us with this information