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Are You Ready To Trust The Internet With Your Secrets | Touchstone Words

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Are You Ready To Trust the Internet With Your Secrets

By Katie Lee on 2017-05-16

Most people will never trust the Internet on a normal computer and the ones who do are very brave. Now, you may have to send out personal information on quantum computers in order to even use it.


Quantum computers, for those who do not know, are high tech systems that can perform very hard calculations. The systems can do more than normal computers due to their reliance on quantum mechanical phenomena (such as superposition) and their use of quantum bits rather than binary digits or bits. The system processes data that is stored in quantum states which is where the qubits come in handy. These qubits can also be entangled (Normal computer bits can only be a 0 or a 1 whereas qubits can change from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0) which is vital for the “quantum” in “quantum computer.”


Some calculations may require you to give away your personal data or even commercially sensitive data. In exchange, the computer promises new ways of solving problems that could potentially save a lot of time and effort. Researchers located in Singapore as well as Australia are announcing that they are trying to develop a secure network for quantum computers so that when you are forced to hand out your precious information to reduce the time the computer takes to calculate and to maximize the accuracy of the result or results.


The technique involves literally masking your information from the computer itself though you actually put it in the system. This allows the quantum computer to recognize that you gave it your information but it does not have access to it. Each qubit of the system is designed to be a certain way (a 0 or a 1). Next, the qubits are measured which essentially encodes the system to hide your information (by encoding all inputs to the computer) from anyone and everyone. This will ensure that you are safe and so is your data. Even your calculations are hidden so as to prevent the theft of confidential information. If users try to find your performed calculations, it would be nearly impossible and it is likely that they would only find very small parts of the calculation which they would not be able to guess the context of.


"It's extremely exciting. You can use this unique feature of the measurement-based model of quantum computing -- the way information flows through the state -- as a crypto tool to hide information from the server," says Tommaso Demarie, a member of the team designing this technique.


At this point, you may be saying to yourself “I don’t have this problem. I don’t have a quantum computer.Why should I care?” This may soon be your issue. Companies like IBM have announced that they are designing quantum computers available for the general public. There are, however, quantum computers available for the public right now, but only if you want to pay fifteen million dollars. The system available now is likely a lot more powerful than what IBM is creating for us non-millionaires since our quantum computers only have seventeen qubits which is not nearly enough to outperform the world’s supercomputers, but it is a step up from nothing. Whether the fifteen million dollar computer is worth it, moreover, is completely up to you. If you think it is worth it, you better start scrounging coins from between the couch cushions.


This security is groundbreaking. It could keep thieves and hackers at bay in order to ensure your safety and (if you are working for a certain company or corporation) to keep company secrets out of the wrong hands.


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