Friday, January 3, 2014

It's not just SkyNet that we have to worry about

Want to feel a chill in the deepest reaches of your heart? Consider this: the NSA is trying to build a quantum computer. (I'm going to suppose my savvy readers already know what a quantum computer is. See how well I think of you?)
The NSA has spent nearly $80 million trying to build a quantum supercomputer that could crack virtually all types of data encryption, according to new documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

The Washington Post reports that the secretive agency could use the computer exponentially more powerful than standard computers to hack “banking, medical and government records around the world.”
To think of something as powerful as a quantum computer in the hands of the moral cretins who work at the NSA is horrifying. Mind you, I doubt they'll make any headway. Something tells me NSA isn't capable of attracting the best scientific minds -- and that's what you'd need to crack this nut.

Once again, we have to thank Edward Snowden for delivering this information. Think about what this means. Do you want the most powerful computer in the world to be in the hands of the NSA? It's a monstrous possibility.

As I wrote this post, I realized that I now think of the NSA as the equivalent of Russia's KGB. The morph happened when I wasn't looking, and it is complete. NSA's staff and leaders are undeniably "the bad guys". How's this for a resolution: let's try to keep significant progress out of the hands of the bad guys. Works for me.