Fully Device Independent Quantum Key Distribution

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
Research Highlights : “Technical Perspective: Was Edgar Allan Poe Wrong After All?
By Gilles Brassard

Research Highlights : “Fully Device Independent Quantum Key Distribution
By U­mesh Vazirani, Thomas Vidick

“Artur Ekert realized as early as 1991 that a different kind of quantum cryptography was possible by harnessing entanglement, which is arguably the most nonclassical manifestation of quantum theory. Even though Ekert’s original protocol did not offer any security above and beyond my earlier invention with Bennett, he had planted the seed for a revolution. It was realized by several researchers in the mid-2000s that entanglement-based protocols could lead to unconditional security even if they are imperfectly implemented—even if the QKD apparatus is built by the eavesdropper, some argued. For a decade, these purely theoretical ideas remained elusive and seemed to require unreasonable hardware, such as an apparatus the size of the galaxy! Vazirani and Vidick’s paper provides an unexpectedly simple and elegant solution, indeed one that is almost within reach of current technology. Once it becomes reality, codemakers will have won the definitive battle, Poe’s prophecy notwithstanding.”

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