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Quantum Communications

by Brent Kirkpatrick

(Date Published: .)

We discovered the first evidence of quantum communication being used on the public Internet.

Intrepid Net Computing discovered what appears to be the first evidence of a quantum communication link being used in the public Internet in the United States. This evidence was recorded in July 2016 and substantiates the conclusion that quantum communication was in use and open to public traffic on the route between Arlington and Austin.

In scientific circles, discussions about using quantum technologies for networking are common. Due to quantum entanglement, it is conceivable to use a q-bit split across a long distance to provide a latency-free communication channel. Whatever information you encode in one piece of the q-bit will instantly appear in the other piece of the q-bit. Even more interesting, the information encoded in the q-bit cannot be read in transit, a phenomenon referred to as quantum encryption. There is no way to do a man-in-the-middle attack on a quantum channel.

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In July, 2016, using the buttressIT audit method, Dr. Kirkpatrick measured latency in the public Internet from an end-point in Arlington, VA. Our methodology uses public data sources to map portions of the Internet topology. The results of this audit (detailed in our whitepaper), revealed that part of the Internet backbone, on the route between Arlington and Austin, was implausibly fast. The data, analyzed carefully in the whitepaper, support the conclusion that quantum communications was being used along that route.

The Wall Street Journal reported, in spring 2017, that the Chinese succeeded in using quantum communications between the ground and a satellite. While that is the first media disclosure of quantum communications being used, the data described here was an earlier observation of quantum communications. Intrepid Net Computing believes in responsible disclosure, and we elected to wait two years before announcing this data.

Please contact us at Intrepid Net Computing if you have questions about this discovery.

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Josh Chin. "China Makes Leap Toward 'Unhackable' Quantum Network". The Wall Street Journal. June 15, 2017.

Brent Kirkpatrick. Quantum Communications. 2018.

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