[cryptography] Well, that's depressing. Now what?

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Sat Jan 28 02:55:43 EST 2012


[BTW, I held off saying anything until the first post.  I'd wanted to
see how long we could collectively avoid the same old QKD thread.  It
took five hours to the first post, fourteen to get to the first
significant disagreement.]

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM, Noon Silk <noonslists at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think it's important to note that it's obviously completely wrong to
> say "QKD is snake-oil", what you *can* say is that someone *selling*
> *any* demonstratably-insecure crypto device as a secure one, is snake
> oil. So, that is to say, you can only claim snake-oil in reference to
> a vendor and a device, not a field of research.

This has been covered to death by now, both today and in the past
(search the archives of this and similar lists).

Until we see scalable quantum authenticated quantum secrecy / key
distribution, QKD is not suitable for production deployment.  This is
the position that most of us here hold, and it is not religious.  It
is utterly simple to understand why we hold this position.  This isn't
like, say, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theories where
the system of interest (Earth's climate system) is incredibly complex
with many known unknowns and who knows what unknown unknowns, but
relatively simple engineering problems (trivial by comparison to the
first).  Many smart (but not necessarily brilliant) people can
acquaint themselves with the technologies involved here in reasonably
short order and decide for themselves if QKD is a truly useful
technology or not.

The field of applied quantum mechanics is certainly not snake oil, but
QKD as a product sure is.

Nico
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