Scientists in Chicago are trying to create the embryo of the first quantum internet. If they succeed, the researchers will produce one, 30-mile piece of a far more secure communications system with the power of fast quantum computing. From a report:This is really foolish. We have cheap reliable end-to-end encryption that has not been broken.
The key was the realization of an unused, 30-mile-long fiber optic link connecting three Chicago-area research institutions -- Argonne National Lab, Fermi Lab and the University of Chicago. This led to the idea to combine efforts and use the link for what they call the Chicago Quantum Exchange. David Awschalom, an Argonne scientist and University of Chicago professor who is the project's principal investigator, tells Axios that the concept is difficult to grasp, even for experts.MIT Technology Review elaborates:
The QKD approach used by Quantum Xchange works by sending an encoded message in classical bits while the keys to decode it are sent in the form of quantum bits, or qubits. These are typically photons, which travel easily along fiber-optic cables. The beauty of this approach is that any attempt to snoop on a qubit immediately destroys its delicate quantum state, wiping out the information it carries and leaving a telltale sign of an intrusion. The initial leg of the network, linking New York City to New Jersey, will allow banks and other businesses to ship information between offices in Manhattan and data centers and other locations outside the city.However, sending quantum keys over long distances requires "trusted nodes," which are similar to repeaters that boost signals in a standard data cable. Quantum Xchange says it will have 13 of these along its full network. At nodes, keys are decrypted into classical bits and then returned to a quantum state for onward transmission. In theory, a hacker could steal them while they are briefly vulnerable.
The quantum crypto methods are unable to offer similar assurances. They cannot authenticate messages. They cannot do end-to-end encryption, so they require trusted nodes. They are subject to hardware faults, and such faults have been used to break all the commercial equipment.
The big advantage of the quantum crypto is that you are supposed to be able to shut down the network if you detect a probability of an attack. Who wants that? The whole point of the real internet is to always transmit traffic, regardless of problems. The quantum internet will shut down at the first sign of a problem.
The whole idea of a quantum internet is a scam.