(FedScoop) Some technologists are questioning the government’s priorities as agencies like the Department of Energy invest tens of millions of dollars in additional funding in quantum computing.
the $30 million DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response awarded during the last research call, only $3 million went toward quantum key distribution (QKD) — a controversial, 30-year-old technology rooted in the laws of physics.
QKD is arguably the most mature quantum technology to date, sharing secret keys made of light — photon by photon — across optical fiber networks. Each photon is encoded with a one or a zero and, taken as a bit sequence, used in cryptographic protocols.
If quantum computers are an offensive weapon against cryptography, then quantum keys are a defensive weapon and currently “the only actionable system available” to protect communications channels.