The National Security Agency (NSA) has received a lot of publicity recently. News just broke that the NSA has been privately funding research in order to build a quantum computer of its own. This is all well and good but why would they want to build such a computer? The answer lies in their desire to be able to crack the codes of banking, medical, business and government codes around the world.
The news comes via Edward Snowden’s leaked documents and he states that it’s a great effort to build a “a cryptologically useful quantum computer.” At the site of the term crypto, bitcoin miners every where may be getting excited, but this is serious business. According to Snowden, the machine they seek is embarassingly faster than the traditional computer, and is tied to a project called “Penetrating Hard Targets.” A reported sum of $79.7 million is said to be dedicated towards this and other similar projects, and is quietly being done at a laboratory in the University of Maryland.
The NSA is not the only organisation to pursue a quantum computer in recent times. Google, a company known for pushing boundaries, has worked on a quantum computer of their own, and we can be sure that other technology giants seek similar possesions. Quantum computers, though powerful and seemingly almighty, are not yet capable of achieving what the NSA requires. As a result, researchers labour on in search of new ways and answers to please their security overlords.
We can only hope that the NSA does not succeed with its plans and that we retain what ever ounce of privacy and dignity we have left. As it stands, no one should feel safe or secure, for we may never know when they achieve this absurd goal of theirs.
Sources: Washington Post