How to regulate quantum technology before everyone understands how it works

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Lawmakers, physicists, software engineers and end users need to find a common language and set some rules. It’s time for researchers, legislators and regulators to start discussing quantum computing and all of the benefits and risks of this technology, according to a fellow at the Center for Quantum Networks. By Veronica Combs.

People say quantum networking will let you send immediate communications regardless of distance and that’s not how it works.

Rob Heverly is an Albany Law School professor and one of nine 2022 Fellows for the National Science Foundation’s Center for Quantum Networks (Center). He studies the regulation and legal implications of new technologies and advises policy makers on how new technologies can be regulated even when they are not fully understood. Heverly said it’s always a problem when policy makers oversimplify technology when trying to write regulations. He has already heard misconceptions about quantum computing.

The Center’s goals are to build a quantum internet that meets these two criteria:

  • Enables physics-based communication security that cannot be compromised by any amount of computational power
  • Creates a global network of quantum computers, processors and sensors that are fundamentally more powerful than today’s technology

The key to regulating new technology is to focus on legal and illegal behavior, not the tools used in these activities. He makes a distinction between cyber crime, which requires specific laws, and more general activity such as libel. Gooo read!

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