President Biden is set to sign an executive order and a national security brief on Wednesday to enhance quantum information science and put the US in a position to “leapfrog” ahead of enemies and reduce the risks that the coming technology poses to national and economic security.
The United States has “long been a global leader” in the creation of new technologies, including quantum, a broad field of science and engineering, according to a senior administration official.
Quantum technologies aren’t meant to be a replacement for existing computers; rather, they’re a “fundamentally different kind of computer” that can analyze data in ways that ordinary computers can’t.
Officials claim that quantum technologies have the potential to drive innovation in the American economy.
“The goal of both the executive order and the National Strategy Memorandum is to ensure that we leapfrog well ahead of everyone else, both by promoting quantum information science and the potential benefits it can bring from energy to medicine, in various areas of the economy, as well as to begin what will likely be a decade-long transition to protect our systems from an adversary with a potential quantum computer,” a senior administration official said.
“America must begin the lengthy process of modernizing our IT infrastructure today to protect against this quantum computing threat tomorrow,”
The president’s executive order is designed to “encourage” those advancements by pledging to promote them. The directive will strengthen the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee, the federal government’s advisory body on quantum information science and technology, by putting it under White House authority.
The move, according to a senior administration official, will ensure that the president, Congress, federal departments and agencies, and the general public have access to “the most current, accurate, and relative quantum information, science, and technology to drive forward US policymaking in this area.”
The president will also sign a national security letter outlining his administration’s efforts to combat the cybersecurity threats posed by quantum computers.
“At some point in the not-too-distant future, when quantum information science matures and quantum computers reach a sufficient size and level of sophistication,” a senior administration official said, “quantum computers will be capable of breaking much of the cryptography that currently secures our digital communications.”
However, according to the official, cybersecurity and technical innovation are not mutually exclusive.
“They reaffirm the president’s commitment to supporting innovation and cutting-edge science and technology while continuing to take the essential steps to protect the future economy and infrastructure,” the official added. “The president’s conviction that cybersecurity and technological innovation are not in competition, but rather complementary and crucial to one another’s success underpins this balanced approach of foster, promote, and defend.”
The president’s national security directive mandates that federal agencies update their encryption systems, and requires them to prepare “complete strategies to protect American intellectual property, research and development, and other sensitive technology” against the foreign acquisition. News Source: Foxnews
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