Quantum Encryption

Earlier this year another quantum leap was made by smashing the previous quantum entanglement distance record. Using entangled photons and quantum encryption, a message was sent over a distance of 1,200 km (746 miles). Without getting too deep into the technical details (and me pretending to understand how it all works), a photon is essentially paired with another photon, and whatever photon A does, photon B simultaneously does the same thing. This allows data to effectively teleport from A to B without the risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. This brings up the most important question surrounding the topic, should unbreakable encryption be available for public use? We have seen a sneak-peak of this issue when the FBI requested that Apple build a backdoor into their software after the San Bernardino incident. Apple refused, however, the FBI went ahead and found a 3’rd party to hack into the phone anyway.

After reading Apple’s letter, it seemed like it was the logical choice for the company, especially considering the Snowden revelations a few years prior. As individuals in a democracy, trying to find our voice and molding our own opinions, we have the right to freedom of speech, but does that mean we have the right to freedom of speech in private? Most would say yes, but releasing unbreakable encryption to the public would, of course, put the same technology in the hands of those who wish to conceal their maleficent intentions. Let’s say the FBI was able to break up a terrorist attack before it happened, however, they were also able to get their hands on dozens of hard drives that were using “unbreakable encryption”. This would be a hindrance to justice which could eventually lead to the destabilization of our democracy. What good is privacy if our own laws (freedom of speech, right to privacy, i.e. encryption) get in the way of preserving the integrity of our government?  My opinion on this has shifted back and forth, but I do believe we will need to regulate the most “unbreakable” encryption available.

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