CQN Societal Impacts Winter Lecture: Quantum Internet Protocols

Friday, January 28, 2022 3:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Are you interested in how quantum computing is shaping all faces of the internet from global financial systems to social media? Or how it may effect cryptographic trust systems and communications? Then, come join the CQN Societal Impacts Winter Lecture: Quantum Internet Protocols event.

Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Laura DeNardis
Laura DeNardis


Sandra Braman


Jane Bambauer
Jane Bambauer


Event Information: What do quantum computing advancements mean for the Internet? The Internet’s technical architecture is wholly digital. Binary code (0s and 1s) can represent any type of information from text to video and be transmitted over a network with a necessary overlay of digital functions ranging from error checking and compression to addressing and encryption. This digital approach forms the basis of all infrastructures underlying social media, global financial systems, the Internet of Things, and all industry networks. Emerging quantum information approaches deploy theoretical physics principles of superposition, the ability of particles to occupy more than one state at a time, and entanglement, the ability of the state of one particle to influence the state of another particle. As such, quantum computing – and a shift from bits to “qubits” – promises exponentially more processing power, speed, and other innovative features that challenge prevailing approaches of Internet architecture governance.  One public policy concern is the credible threat quantum computing poses for the existing cryptographic trust systems – and especially those reliant on public key cryptography - upon which all communication now depends. While much of this concern relates to privacy, there is a much larger issue. Public key cryptography constitutes the core infrastructures of trust that keep the Internet operational, including securing the Domain Name System and Virtual Private Networks and authenticating financial systems, human identity, and commercial transactions. This paper lays out which Internet trust infrastructures are implicated by the quantum computing tension with public key cryptography, describes how technical standards-setting institutions are responding, and concludes with Internet standards lessons for quantum standardization, including encryption standards politicization that invariably accompanies ambient national security concerns and geopolitical conflict.