(Politico) Politico’s Sam Sabin reports that a bipartisan group of House lawmakers led by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) will introduce legislation aimed at getting ahead of one of the most significant cybersecurity concerns tied to quantum computing: hackers relying on these advanced devices to decrypt stolen encrypted messages. IQT-News summarizes below
The proposed Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act would build on the Commerce Department’s preemptive efforts to fend off possible attempts by foreign intelligence services to use quantum computers, once they’re available, to gain access to secure government information. While quantum computing isn’t widely available yet, encryption experts have warned for years that devices powerful enough to handle it could more easily unlock encrypted messages — and that hackers have already started collecting encrypted files so they can access them once quantum computers are available.
Sponsors include Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). Connolly leads the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s government operations subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the bill.
Khanna, who represents parts of Silicon Valley, also said several major technology companies, including Google and IBM, are endorsing the legislation. While these companies weren’t involved in crafting the bill language, Khana said his office worked with their teams since they “understand the importance of encryption.” IBM spokesperson Miki Carver confirmed the company is endorsing the bill and pointed to a blog post published last year about the company’s embrace of quantum tech. A spokesperson for Google did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.)
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.