‘Post-quantum’ encryption for diplomatic messages is being tested in France


PARIS: According to President Emmanuel Macron, France’s embassy in Washington has sent the diplomatic service’s first message, which was encrypted to prevent quantum computers in the future.

On Twitter, Macron posted a message that read, “Tomorrow, a sufficiently powerful quantum computer will be able to break all cryptographic algorithms and decode our messages.”

“Developing post-quantum encryption technologies is a strategic concern in order to counter this threat. And that is exactly what we are doing!”

Quantum computing is a rapidly developing technology that combines leaps in information theory with advances in scientific understanding of the subatomic world to solve mathematical problems that conventional computers cannot currently handle.

Qubits, which can be either a 0 or a 1 at the same time, are used in quantum computers to process information, enabling them to solve more complex problems than traditional computers.

A memorandum on field cooperation with the United States was included in France’s first “post-quantum” encrypted message, which was sent on Wednesday.

The encrypted communication was sent, according to a statement from the Parisian foreign ministry, using technology from a startup called CryptoNext.

The ministry added that as part of a larger 1.8 billion euro effort to develop a variety of quantum technologies, France has committed 150 million euros, or 157 million dollars, to quantum-resistant cryptography.

A government “action plan” for “migration to post-quantum cryptography” was promised in the first quarter of 2023, and the move was described as “a precursor to changes in France’s critical digital infrastructure.”

In May, the White House unveiled its own strategy to upgrade businesses and intelligence agencies to post-quantum cryptography.

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