Demystifying the Quantum Threat to Cybersecurity with Dr. Jon Lindsay
In principle a quantum computer can break the cryptographic protocols that underwrite internet security today. There are serious engineering obstacles to constructing a fully functional quantum computer, however, and alternative classical and quantum protocols are available. The theoretical window of vulnerability to quantum computing varies depending on estimates of scientific progress and the value of secret information. Yet even in the worst case scenarios, signals intelligence and operations security depend on much more than just cryptography. Secret collection provides little advantage if not analyzed, disseminated, and acted upon. Secure cryptography provides little protection if poorly implemented. Understood in its full strategic context, quantum computing augurs neither the end of secrecy nor the end of intelligence. The reasons why are instructive for understanding the relationship between technology and information in international relations. Jon R. Lindsay is Assistant Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Information Technology and Military Power (Cornell University Press, forthcoming), Cross-Domain Deterrence: Strategy in an Era of Complexity (Oxford University Press, 2019) with Erik Gartzke, and China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain (Oxford University Press, 2015) with Tai Ming Cheung and Derek Reveron. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. He has also served in the U.S. Navy with operational assignments in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
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