[Cfrg] Europe's "Quantum Manifesto" and QKD snake oil

"D. J. Bernstein" <djb@cr.yp.to> Sat, 30 April 2016 15:28 UTC

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Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 15:28:10 -0000
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From: "D. J. Bernstein" <djb@cr.yp.to>
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Subject: [Cfrg] Europe's "Quantum Manifesto" and QKD snake oil
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There's a serious push---a draft manifesto endorsed by fairly high-level
politicians and 1000 signatories---to get the European Commission to
spend 1 billion EUR on "quantum technologies":

   http://qurope.eu/manifesto

I'm not sure how long the public-comment page will stay open:

   https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/content/quantum-manifesto-quantum-technologies-0

I see two reasons that this manifesto is of potential interest to CFRG:

   * Quantum computing is featured prominently in the manifesto. The
     dark side, the impact on quantum computing on crypto, is mentioned
     only briefly but seems to be a topic of growing importance in CFRG.

   * Quantum-cryptography snake oil, including a "quantum Internet", is
     featured even more prominently in the manifesto.

My understanding is that there's some interest in having CFRG become
more proactive and systematic in publicly reviewing the security level
of cryptographic technologies that are proposed _to IETF_. I realize
that merely labeling something as a "quantum Internet" and telling
people to spend huge amounts of money on it is not the same as making
current proposals to IETF, but there does seem to be a large risk of
future proposals to IETF, and maybe this justifies current CFRG action.

Or maybe what this manifesto is illustrating is that the public
cryptographic community needs to organize a bigger mechanism, outside
any particular standardization organization, for systematic security
evaluations (with some way of deciding priorities). Many current crypto
failures can be traced to a denial-of-service attack against the public
security-evaluation process---there are too many organizations with far
too many crypto proposals for us to effectively review---and a more
centralized process could help solve this.

---Dan