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NSA eyes encryption-breaking 'quantum' machine: Report

Published on Jan 3, 2014 6:41 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US National Security Agency (NSA) is making strides toward building a "quantum computer" that could break nearly any kind of encryption, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Post said leaked documents from fugitive ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden indicate the computer would allow the secret intelligence agency to break encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

Quantum computing has been a goal among commercial firms such as IBM because it could harness the power of atoms and molecules, vastly increasing speed and security of computers and other devices.

But experts cited by the newspaper said it was unlikely that the NSA would be close to creating such a machine without the scientific community being aware of it.

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