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NSA Cyber Chief Vows 'No Backdoors' in Quantum Encryption Standards

New quantum encryption standards will stand up to spy-snooping, NSA cybersecurity director said.

As the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is busy developing — and gathering industry buy-in — for a new set of quantum encryption standards, the cybersecurity chief for the National Security Agency (NSA) has vowed it won't build in a backdoor for snooping. 

The NSA has a shabby track record when it comes to violating privacy and Fourth Amendment protections with its massive surveillance operations, but in an interview, NSA director of cybersecurity Rob Joyce said, "There are no backdoors" being designed for spies to bypass new quantum encryption standards. 

Although the reality of quantum computing is still years away, its potential to crack even the strongest encryption has the cybersecurity community on the hunt for protection against this future risk.  

The NSA is also helping NIST test its various quantum encryption algorithms, Joyce told Bloomberg News. 

“Those candidate algorithms that NIST is running the competitions on all appear strong, secure, and what we need for quantum resistance,” Joyce said. “We’ve worked against all of them to make sure they are solid.”