NSA wants quantum computer that can break encryption

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The National Security Agency (NSA), US is reportedly trying to develop a quantum computer that can break any encryption almost any kind of encryption.

According to a report on the Washington Post, which the newspaper claimed is based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA is trying to develop a computer that will break encryption used by banks, governments, businesses across the globe to protect their information. The Post revealed that the research is being carried out in Faraday cages – large, shielded rooms that prevent electromagnetic energy from entering or exiting.

The report further revealed that the alleged quantum computer is part of a $79.7 million research program called “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Once developed, the computer will be able to break any encryption code that is used to hide away ‘sensitive information’.

Developing such a computer without involving the research community is improbable. Private companies like Google have also been putting in lot of efforts behind quantum computer research and it is unclear how NSA’s efforts would scale up to the efforts put in by private players.

“It seems improbable that the NSA could be that far ahead of the open world without anybody knowing it,” Scott Aaronson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said to the Post.