U.S. White House releases ambitious agenda to mitigate the…

The Biden administration issued an executive order to ensure U.S. leadership in quantum computing and a memorandum to mitigate its security risks.

Since at least the early 1990s, computer scientists have warned that quantum computing, despite its potential to provide exponentially more powerful computing capabilities, can break traditional encryption methods and expose digital assets to prying eyes and malicious actors. As the era of quantum computing comes into view, the Biden administration announced it is taking steps to advance the field of quantum computing while mitigating the risks quantum computers pose to national and economic security.

Last week the White House issued two directives on quantum information science (QIS). The first is an executive order (EO) to “ensure continued American leadership in quantum information science and its technology applications.”

The second is a national security memorandum that spells out “key steps needed to maintain the nation’s competitive advantage in quantum information science (QIS) while mitigating the risks of quantum computers to the nation’s cyber, economic, and national security.” The EO and the memo represent a “third line” of effort beyond the administration’s already existing efforts to modernize cybersecurity efforts and improve American competitiveness, an administration official said.

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