17 May 2005

(Still-misnamed) Quantum Encryption

Some interesting (if high-end) practical applications are beginning to grow out of "Quantum Encryption". Not a silver bullet, of course; and not a replacement for various other security things that you need to do to keep data secret; but nonetheless it is really cool to see practical applications of any kind for Quantum Physics…


That said, the term "Quantum Encryption" is a misnomer, really. Encryption should be construed to provide data confidentiality. The "quantum" portion of this technique does not provide confidentiality; rather, it provides integrity and a means for detecting whether confidentiality has been broken; it does not protect confidential data from disclosure. So really, it's "Quantum Key Exchange" or "Quantum One-time Pad Transmission", but I guess those aren't as snappy.