US officials and scientists have begun laying the groundwork for a more secure “virtually unhackable” internet based on quantum computing technology.
On Thursday 23rd July 2020, Department of Energy (DOE) officials issued a report that lays out a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet, using laws of quantum mechanics to transmit information more securely than on current networks.
In 2018 scientists have started a journey to develop a truly unhackable network by using the laws of quantum physics. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
As the number of hacks and security breaches rapidly climbs the federal government have estimated that malicious cyber activity only in U.S. economy affected between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016.
The agency is working with universities and industry researchers on the engineering for the initiative with the aim of creating a prototype within a decade.
In February, scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago created a 52-mile (83-kilometer) “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs, establishing one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the nation.
The aim is to create a parallel, more secure network based on quantum “entanglement,” or the transmission of sub-atomic particles.
“One of the hallmarks of quantum transmissions is that they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations,” according to the Energy Department statement.
“Scientists plan to use that trait to make virtually unhackable networks.”
The department said early adopters could include the banking and health services sectors, adding that there would be applications for national security and aircraft communications.
“Eventually, the use of quantum networking technology in mobile phones could have broad impacts on the lives of individuals around the world,” the statement added.
The agency’s 17 national laboratories will serve as the backbone of the coming quantum internet, which has initial government funding.
What is quantum internet?
The quantum internet is a theoretical system of interconnected quantum computers that uses quantum signals to send information rather than radio waves. If implemented, the quantum internet is intended to eventually complement the current system of interconnected computers that share information through classical computing means, such as over standard communication protocols that physically connect networks over geographical space.