Many readers here sent versions of the story that China launched the world's first quantum communications satellite, and the timing could not have been more interesting. Indeed, in my opinion, China's launch of this satellite must be viewed within the context of the hacking spree occurring in the USSA, with the recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee, the various groups connected to Darth Soros, and most recently, the NSA. In a (very greatly) oversimplified nutshell, quantum computing would rely on quantum states, rather than binary logic gates(with only two modes of handling information). In other words, at a minimum, rather than two states per node of information handling, there would be seven. Expand this idea to encryption, where entanglement of quantum information is used to transmit information, without the parameters of that entanglement to decrypt messages and communications, communications become virtually impossible to decode.
In a world that has seen how vulnerable the most "secure" servers are, from the DNC to Darth Soros being hacked, and now, even the NSA, such a satellite has huge implications:
Now why am I putting this in the context of the hacking stories about which I speculated yesterday?
Well, for one thing, the nature of using quantum entanglement and other quantum information-processing technologies, as (poorly) outlined above, means that such communications are "hack proof". But let's put this in terms of intelligence and espionage, for as noted above, the problem posed by such technologies is that the old fashioned "signals intercept and decryption" techniques of number crunching and so on to crack the codes and communications of the enemy ala Britains' Bletchley park "Ultra" operations in World War Two might fast be approaching its own kind of obsolescence. Without the encryption and decryption keys, cracking such communications becomes a super-computing nightmare. One might, just possibly invent some such technology and technique, but even then, the computing power would be extraordinary, and by the time an unauthorized "decrypt" was achieved, the information may no longer be timely or even possible to act upon.
Now, if one has been in the intelligence or espionage business, or for that matter, in the counter-intelligence business, the implications of this will be immediately evident, for it will mean that, contrary to the prognostications of yesteryear, HUMINT - human intelligence, i.e., actual human spies infiltrating an enemy's intelligence and military to steal secrets, like quantum encryption and decryption keys - will become not less important, but hugely important. In the quantum communications world, they will become the sine qua non of intercept and decryption activity. This means, similarly, that the "intelligence advantage" will accrue to that nation or bloc that has (1) invested in such encryption and communications technologies while (2) not curtailing its HUMINT intelligence and counter-intelligence operatives, but rather, expanding them and targeting key agencies and corporations to access their software and encrypt-decrypt keys. For a nation behind the curve in the development of quantum communications and computing, this will mean infiltrating such corporations and agencies as are likely to develop such technologies, with sleeper agents to be activated when those "behind the curve" nations get quantum computing and satellite communications. And of course, one can do it another old fashioned way, and put bugs in the hardware itself. And of course, one should not imagine this activity will be restricted simply to countries; corporations will engage in it as well as other private groups dependent on secure communications. This is also to say that private groups and corporations will also seek to pierce the communications veil of competitors and rivals for power; in short, they will become major players in the espionage field.
All of this is to suggest that behind the hacking stories I blogged about yesterday there is a real old fashioned John le Carre-Robert Ludlumesque espionage game being played, for recall that in the considered opinion of some NSA experts, the recent NSA hacks could not have been achieved without HUMINT, i.e., without some human operative on the inside of the NSA physically stealing programs and codes, an operative either deliberately infiltrated into the organization, or someone already in it who was "turned" by the usual processes (blackmail, bribery, threat, etc). This implies in turn that the NSA hacks might indeed have occurred precisely because the NSA has secretly deployed similar satellites of its own, and thought itself "hack proof".
See you on the flip side...