PARIS: According to President Emmanuel Macron, the French embassy in Washington has transmitted the first diplomatic letter to be encrypted to withstand quantum computers in the future.
Macron posted on Twitter, “Tomorrow, a sufficiently powerful quantum computer will be able to break all encryption techniques and decrypt our messages.”
“Creating post-quantum encryption technology is a strategic concern in order to mitigate this danger. And that’s what we’re doing right now!”
In order to tackle mathematical problems that are now intractable by ordinary computers, quantum computing is a rapidly developing technology that combines advancements in information theory with the scientific understanding of the subatomic realm.
While conventional computers utilize bits, which can only be represented by 0 or 1, quantum computers employ qubits, which can simultaneously be both 0 and 1. This allows them to handle more challenging tasks than standard computers can.
France’s first “post-quantum” encrypted message, which was sent on Wednesday, contained a memorandum on field collaboration with the United States and was comparatively unremarkable.
The encrypted transmission was delivered using technology from a start-up company named CryptoNext, according to a statement from the Paris foreign ministry.
The ministry also stated that as part of a larger 1.8 billion euro drive to develop various quantum technologies, France has allocated 150 million euros ($157 million) to quantum-resistant encryption.
The move “is a precursor to changes in France’s critical digital infrastructure,” the statement claimed, promising a government “action plan” for “migration to post-quantum cryptography” in the first quarter of 2023.
In May, the White House unveiled its own program to help corporations and spy agencies transition to post-quantum encryption.