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.
Once the NSA’s ubiquitous surveillance of all Americans is complete — once it has the ability to collect and process all of our emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook posts, location data, physical mail, financial transactions, and who knows what else — why limit its use to cases of terrorism? (via Mission Creep: When Everything Is Terrorism - Bruce Schneier - The Atlantic)
To celebrate what would’ve been George Owell’s 110th birthday, two Dutch artists sought inspiration from perhaps his most famous novel, 1984. The artists took to the streets of the Dutch city of Utrecht to put party hats on CCTV cameras in an attempt to draw attention to the culture of surveillance in modern cities. If we only looked above the stores and billboards that line our streets, say Front404, the artists behind the stunt, we’d realize how many cameras are above us.
The bottom line is this: I love America for a lot of very good reasons, and I have spend a good part of my life there, but this blatant obsession with snooping and surveillance under the pretense of national security must stop, and soon – or else the rest of the world must re-consider all future involvement with those that sanction and engineer this Orwellian detour. A Benjamin Franklin quote comes to mind (perversely so): “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (via 5 reasons why the Snowden / NSA / PRISM affair is indeed a game changer for the Future of the Internet - Futurist, Author and Keynote Speaker Gerd Leonhard)
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