The NSA has spent almost $80 million trying to build a "a cryptologically useful quantum computer".
The National Security Agency has decided that traditional computers just aren't fast enough, and have been hard at work building a quantum "supercomputer" that should be able to crack codes at an exponentially faster rate. In documents handed to The Washington Post by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, it has been revealed that almost $80 million has been poured into the project so far, with no presentable results.
The research program is titled "Penetrating Hard Targets," with most of the work being hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md. If the NSA were to suceed, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.
Quantum computing is a goal that the scientific community has long been striving for, as it would have revolutionary implications in multiple fields. Civilian scientists do not believe that the NSA is much further ahead of them with its research.
"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.
Source: The Washington Post