December 14, 2020

As China Leads Quantum Computing Race, U.S. Spies Plan for a World with Fewer Secrets

Source: Newsweek

Journalist: Fred Guterl

Back in 1994, when quantum computers existed only as so much chalk on a blackboard, mathematician Peter Shor invented what may soon prove to be their killer app.

Shor trained his efforts on a calculation called "factoring," which ordinarily nobody but a mathematician would care about, except it just happens to be an Achilles heel of the internet. If someone were to invent a computer that could perform this operation quickly, messages that are currently hidden from hackers, terrorists, military adversaries, governments and competitors would be as easy to read as a Stephen King novel.

Read the full story and more from Newsweek.


  • Paul Scharre

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence...