Quantum computing is seen as science fiction and to an extent as implausible.
The same was true for other technologies.
Tales of Jules Vernes about silent, and undetectable submarines or trips to the moon eventually emerged into our reality.
Such as space rockets that millionaire philanthropists can play with exploring outer space, or nuclear submarines owned by the major military powers used as Queens on a global chess grid.
Instead of speculating on the potential failure to implement a technology that is quantum computing, my approach is to embrace the research done and the existing results.
Two decades ago , quantum computing was a decade away.
This still stands true today, reminding me of one funniest piece of dialogues written in the post-Tarantino cinema industry.
What's happening with them sausages, Charlie?
Five minutes, Turkish.
It was two minutes five minutes ago.
The above brilliantly demonstrates that human impatience prompts for fast results, and that's one thing the quantum computer has not delivered.
So far the only quantum computer prototypes that exist are bespoke solutions, with known faults and limitations.
The reason I delayed my assignment, was indeed the fear of missing out on cutting edge technology.
Blogging or electronic gonzo journalism is a technology I seemingly missed out for almost a decade since it's inception.
I've never written a blog post prior to this day, I have however published my writings using traditional print houses.
My inspiration for a story came today 17th of November 2018 for two reasons.
I had forgotten about the deadline,
I realized I was late, on the day of the celebration of the uprising against of the military junta in Greece following the protests of students of Athens Polytechnic school which was harder for me to ignore.
It was a historic day for Greece, sending a message on the end of censorship and repression of thought in the country for seven years.
I, therefore, decided to start this blog series on Internet privacy and encryption, using a theoretically untraceable blog platform for one reason.
The Fear of trace-ability leads back to my original educational background, journalism that is.
I recall the top independent Greek journalist Sokratis Gkiolias was assassinated by several gunmen in 2010 that rang on the doorbell of his apartment block.
Semi-automatic rifles fired sixteen bullets of which fifteen hit their target.
Gkiolias was investigating and about to publish a report on corruption.
This was achieved using digital networks to collect citizen information from local investigators, sometimes involving whistle-blowers disclosing such documents demonstrating private or government corrupted deals.
While his involvement was hardly a secret ,nor it would be difficult for someone to find this address ,a confirmation of his identity linked to the blog was made public only following his death on the Google blogspot named “Troktiko” which translates in “Rodent”
The challenge was to reach a bigger audience than the traditional media had ,and they succeeded with the help of SEO experts.
Over sleepless nights the ever growing blog became a threat to the a real life version of the Ministry of Truth.
Some journalists got fired from their jobs in traditional media accused of collaborating with Gkiolas later joining the blog officially.
They wrote online and kept contact between them exclusively over email or Skype, as traditional cell were suspected to be wiretapped.
Journalists that had gotten a comfortable “corporate” type of job, exercising the wrong kind of journalism in mainstream Greek media saw that the views started exceeding 10 million clicks per day , leaving the major news portal of mainstream media of in.gr with 6 million clicks.
The site owned by the top press group “Lambrakis group” , running two of the most reputable newspapers got surpassed by a rogue journalist.
The life of Sokratis was claimed by a so-called ultra leftists terrorist organization called “Sect of Revolutionaries”.
However, following a cross investigation on shooting in a nightclub of Aya Napa in Cyprus, the ballistics reports show that the same weapons would have been used by a group of hired killers serving some local gangland interests.
Confusing at least.
This correlation was brought to light by a Greek magazine a few years after the events.
The published story also shows there are no records of collaboration between the Greek and Cypriot police on the matter.
Gkiolias was caught asleep.
Thanks to a make belief call of distress about his car being on fire.
In Greek, the word “Έξυπνος” ex- hypnos describes intelligence by the subtraction of sleep (hypnos) thus one being awake and alert.
Traditional Greek media still tend to repeat, word by word, a police report without investigating themselves.
The recent assassination of an antifascist artist Pavlos Fissas in 2013, was originally credited to football and hooligan violence, according to of course to a police report.
This report ran on TV for several days.
Eventually, another investigation confirmed links to elected members of a neo-fascist party later convicted for his murder.
Troktiko Blogspot was an outsider since it investigated before reporting.
Too bad Gkiolias did not encrypt his online activity and identity.
So let's look back at the emerging technology that is quantum computing.
The estimate of what quantum computing can deliver seems to vary depending on how you measure those results.
Is it the democratization of the technology? Or the simple reality of it?
The first cloud offering of quantum computing over SSH from IBM is a sign that the technology has hit the market and is present.
In today's world most emails are sent without personal encryption , and even if someday PGP encryption is understood by mainstream audiences quantum computing will already be able to break this encryption.
Sending a message with a truly random key is a concrete advantage to enable the next level of digital privacy.
In the late 90's the NSA made attempts to introduce regulations on encryption in the booming software industry providing 40bits encryption algorithms.
It's alarming to see, this was simply to ensure the NSA's activities could not be eavesdropped on.
Large financial deals were revealed by Edward Snowden involving the RSA software company making back-doors available to the NSA over a 10 million dollars contract.
After cryptographic systems reached 256bit algorithms we then find out that without encrypting the handshake(TLS) communications stand no chance of being secure.
More recently messaging platforms like Telegram which offer a different type of personal encryption and message volatility, have been accused to be used by terrorists and consequently blocked by some governments including the Russian Federation, China, and Iran after the refusal to give the master encryption keys away.
The common practice of tech giants is usually the opposite.
They stand as proud collaborating patriotic vigilantes.
Apple, Facebook, Whatsapp, Google and other social media platforms acting as Agent Smith offer legal pipeline accessing to your data.
Privacy is a human right making the correlation, between authorities demonizing and banning encryption technologies while still not being able to stop terrorist attacks.
Because they spy but do not listen.
The simplest of examples :
The DGSE (French external intelligence services) received a telephone call from a foreign embassy Morocco, of which one of the 2015 Paris attacks perpetrators held a passport from.
The call was notifying the French that one of their “dangerous” citizens transited to Greece via Turkey.
The information was discredited as Casablanca isn't an official ally.
Internal intelligence, missed out on this information and the opportunity to keep track of the perpetrators.
None of that information related to the perpetrators was encrypted, yet terrorists went through Europe without being tracked at all, and only used traditional GSM burner phones.
This proves that digital encrypted communication is not key to the success of a terrorist attack, and yet authorities try to prevent the public from using them.
Regardless if you are transmitting sensitive material or not, encryption is elementary to protect your intellectual property and privacy.
Quantum computing as a service allows software developers to access an API which can provide truly random keys for encryption.
Any encryption system that ever existed, has initially been deemed as un-hackable.
The NSA had already scheduled to build quantum computers to that effect, some documents were sent to the Washington Post.
The European Union has blocked content related to this so unless you use an encrypted VPN network to fake the origin of your Internet connection you are restricted from reading information online found in this article
I am a subscriber of the Washington Post, and I can't read their sources.
Why banning or prohibiting such information is considered an acceptable policy?
What if I anonymously decide to reproduce this information in Ireland?
Will it be considered illegal yet ethical considering information on public affairs is expected to be made public?
Today cryptography is a race comparable to the space race or arms race.
Having myself been active in the computer industry long enough to be considered a senior analyst, I can safely testify that most organizations or individuals seldom consider encryption or secrets and passwords management as a must.
It's proven that is only a matter of time for a system to be hacked whether that was called Enigma or plain old SSL
The aim of this blog post is to prove my ability in a computer class and invite developers to kick-start they quantum experience by hooking up on a public API and to help the general public understand the advantages and the ease of using encryption.
The fact that we know little about practical implementations of quantum computing is simple.
The ones that had the funds, research capacity in terms of human resources and infrastructure have not revealed how they achieved computing in 49 to 72 quantum bits or qubits.
The challenge of this technology is not about the spy game.
We safely can guess this will be the primordial use of quantum computing in the years to follow
Famous scientists like Dyakonov seem disenchanted by quantum computing as it would most certainly fail to allow progress in medicine.
Let's look at the differences between traditional computing and quantum.
A bit represents a data with either zero or one.
A qubit represents a character in a quantum way describing the data simultaneously as zero and one.
The superposition allows a combinatoric power that amplifies the combinations needed to reach the result of a calculation.
Instead of linear electronic wiring, using quantum mechanics we short-circuit the calculation by guessing our way to the solution.
This achieved with equipment capable of firing photons, controlling electromagnetic radiation and keeping the main CPU at a temperature just about around absolute zero.
Way colder than space!
The worse part is that this information lives for about one second.
It's getting better, it used to be just a few hundred microseconds...
Damn, this stuff seems as hard as writing information on magnetic tapes and capturing the airwaves to make a microphone recording hardware.
In fact, the main weakness of quantum computing is that they are neither fault tolerant, nor big enough to compute accurately the main known algorithm which is related to encryption.
Traditional encryption involving VPN tunnels, SSL encryption or two-factor authentication failed to protect banks from making cyber heists.
This leads to my conclusion if you can encrypt your data and preserve your anonymity, do it using different keys for each task.
There are many guides on how to encrypt your mobile phone, that's the best place to start it is your most vulnerable device compared to a laptop or desktop.
I will close this story by linking to a more useful and tech-friendly site describing the steps needed to encrypt your mobile data.
Encrypting your phone ensures your address book cannot be easily leaked even if lost or stolen.
It's not enough to avoid promoting your ideas, or lifestyle on non-encrypted networks or worse on social media that sell data to political campaigns.
We've forgotten that privacy is a human right, modern humans are led to believe they can become fashion stars or public celebrities by posting online whatever they eat, see or feel.
I hope this post was informative and will motivate you to encrypt your digital messages, one way or another.