Keeping secrets in a world of spies and mistrust
Artur Ekert, co-inventor of quantum cryptography, explains in Nature what it takes to keep our secrets secret, even when faced with the double challenge of mistrust and manipulation.
Want to learn more? See the article “The ultimate physical limits of privacy” in Nature:
Or this summary on CQT’s website: http://www.quantumlah.org/highlight/1…
Artur Ekert is Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor, National University of Singapore, Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, UK
Abstract of Nature paper
Among those who make a living from the science of secrecy, worry and paranoia are just signs of professionalism. Can we protect our secrets against those who wield superior technological powers? Can we trust those who provide us with tools for protection? Can we even trust ourselves, our own freedom of choice? Recent developments in quantum cryptography show that some of these questions can be addressed and discussed in precise and operational terms, suggesting that privacy is indeed possible under surprisingly weak assumptions.
The United Nations’ latest report on climate change contains plenty of dire warnings about the adverse impact “human interference with the climate system” is having on everything from sea levels to crop yields to violent conflicts. But the primary message of the study isn’t, as John Kerry suggested on Sunday, for countries to collectively reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Instead, the subtext appears to be this: Climate change is happening and will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. As a result, we need to adapt to a warming planet—to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits associated with increasing temperatures—rather than focusing solely on curbing warming in the first place. And it’s businesses and local governments, rather than the international community, that can lead the way.
“The really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change,” Chris Field, the co-chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study, said this week, adding that governments, companies, and communities are already experimenting with “climate-change adaptation.”
Read more. [Image: Carlos Barria/Reuters]
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