In room-size metal boxes secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.
According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.
“It seems improbable that the NSA could be that far ahead of the open world without anybody knowing it,” said Scott Aaronson, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Actually, this is about as UNSURPRISING as anything Snowden has revealed. The NSA, if they are doing their jobs the way they ought, really should be pursuing a quantum computer. Likewise, they ought to be pursuing quantum cryptography (other side of their job is PROTECTION of American communications). We know LANL produced a star config quantum encrypted network. So, why in the world are we shocked the NSA is pursuing a quantum computer??? gah.
Likewise, given the prior knowledge of the Carnivore and ECHELON programs, why are we shocked the NSA has developed more capable skills?! Naive or more likely false outrage is stupid. Yes, false outrage. Everyone spies on everyone and this is the world which spawned STUXNET, the "cyber superpower" which created it ought to be able to get into almost anything. Thinking otherwise is disingenuous at best.
(PS no clemency. The turkey, if he were a whistleblower, ought to have just revealed (with evidence) the actions of the NSA against US citizens. He has revealed more than Manning did and Manning got 35 years)