Catalonia aims to lead quantum revolution

Catalan minister Neus Munté tests video conference call protected by ground-breaking encryption system that ensures maximum security

Videoconference with the new security system (by ACN)
Videoconference with the new security system (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 6, 2017 05:40 PM

No one was going to hack into the video conference call between presidency minister Neus Munté and department secretary Joaquim Nin on Thursday. That’s because the conversation between the two Catalan government officials -one in the Palau de la Generalitat and the other in the HQ of the telecommunications and cybersecurity department in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat- was encrypted with quantum cryptography, which guarantees the highest level of security against cyberattack. Under the supervision of some 40 technology researchers, Munté said “the best way to anticipate the future is by creating the future,” and she called on Catalonia to take a leading position in the field. It was something telecommunications and cybersecurity secretary, Jordi Puigneró, reiterated, insisting that the country had enough resources to lead the revolution in quantum technology.

Thursday’s test of a pioneering project in Europe was based on the principles of quantum mechanics, which ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted between two parties. The sharing of a randomly generated secret key along with a system of photons that detect any intrusion prevent external parties from accessing the information being transmitted. Unlike classic computation, the quantum system automatically warns of unauthorized attempts to access data. It is a system currently used by the United States and China, and Catalonia is looking into adopting the encryption technology in the near future.