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April 16 Tuesday

Law and Policy for the Second Quantum Revolution, Christopher Hoofnagle, UC Berkeley

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 12:10PM - 1:30PM
  • SLB Room 121
  • Open To The Yale Community
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We live in an era where scientists are translating quantum theory into usable technologies. In what Jonathan Dowling and Gerald Milburn have called the “second quantum revolution,” technologies leverage the special physics of the very small to measure physical phenomena and time more precisely (quantum metrology), to create imagery or otherwise sense phenomena invisible to ordinary sight (quantum sensing), to communicate information, including more secure encryption keys (quantum communications), and to engage in computing (quantum computing). This project explains quantum effects through the lens of these four technologies.

All four quantum technologies create consequential changes for intelligence and law enforcement. Yet, there is no legal literature on the topic, and only a thin ethical one. This project is intended to start a policy conversation on quantum that is in step with its technological development. A research agenda in quantum would include consideration of national security, law enforcement, and regulatory approaches anticipating how quantum tools change sensing capabilities; how quantum creates stronger encryption, makes it possible to detect surveillance, and degrades some existing cryptographic tools; and how quantum will change machine learning.

We need not be unprepared for the second quantum revolution. We can make fundamental decisions on how policy could promote quantum in the many ways it could contribute to human flourishing. Still, it would be naïve to overlook how quickly governments might seek control the technology in hopes of obtaining a military or intelligence advantage. Thus, realists need to contemplate how quantum will affect nation-state conflict, whether and how quantum technologies should be commercialized, and what steps can be taken today to prevent quantum from being a destabilizing technology.

Chris Jay Hoofnagle is an adjunct professor of information and of law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught cybersecurity, privacy, consumer protection, and internet law. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and serves on boards for Palantir Technologies and cyber intelligence firm 4iQ. Hoofnagle is author of Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy (Cambridge Univ. Press 2015).


Sponsoring Organization(s)

ISP, TechSoc