The quantum computer is part of a $79.7 million research project called “Penetrating Hard Targets,” according to documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reported by The Washington Post. Much of the program is hosted in a College Park, Maryland laboratory under classified contracts.
Past Snowden-fueled revelations have shown the NSA has worked to deliberately weaken common encryption standards.
Yet the NSA’s own technology capable of shattering all forms of public key encryption - including that which protects state secrets - is no closer to success than any other attempts in the scientific community, according to the leaked documents.
“The application of quantum technologies to encryption algorithms threatens to dramatically impact the US government’s ability to both protect its communications and eavesdrop on the communications of foreign governments,” according to one Snowden-leaked document.