July 10, 2020 – 10:00 EDT

We’d like to thank IBM Canada for providing the tech support and online platform to host this international event.

Top American and Canadian experts will comment on the fast approaching national security challenges of quantum computing. You’ll be able to engage with them directly during the Q&A segment.



What are the military applications? What are the risks to critical infrastructure? What happens to world trade & finance, personal data & government data when encryption as we know it suddenly takes microseconds to break? Who is winning the research & development race? China? USA? What are the geopolitical implications? And from a policy standpoint, how do we ready ourselves right now, before the window of opportunity to do so is gone?




When Sputnik was launched in 1957, it didn’t matter that the small, unarmed research probe itself posed no serious immediate risk to the liberal world. The dual-use technologies at the heart of space exploration justified a much greater fear: winning the space race could spell geopolitical supremacy for the communist block, because of its implications for nuclear weapon delivery, reconnaissance, surveillance, and telecommunications. 

Today, Chinese and American companies are vying for “quantum supremacy”, a tipping point at which a quantum computer succeeds in surpassing the fastest traditional supercomputers. Already, this measure of success has been claimed by one research group, and as a greater range of operations achieves this spectacular speed of computation – million-fold increases in computing speeds – the dual-use nature of the technology inspires optimism, but also trepidation.

While the processing power of quantum computing has the potential to allow incredible advances in chemical engineering and fundamental physics – which could mean super-fast vaccine development, new treatments to cancer, clean energy, etc., it also poses significant security threats as it endangers aspects of classical encryption—the very thing that protects data and communications today. The vulnerabilities of public-key cryptography and the ease with which quantum computers could break cryptographic codes means all information on the internet eventually be compromised. Some experts suggest that cyberattacks are already taking place to collect data that will be decryptable in the near future. The “quantum threat” to critical infrastructure, military operations, privacy, international trade, and finances is unbounded.

In this context, the future of defense and security appear precarious. Our speakers will explore the nature of the quantum threat. We will ask: Are our governments and industries adequately transitioning to and investing in quantum-safe encryption? If not, what steps can be taken to ensure a safer future? What are the implications of fast, simple decryption and encryption for cybersecurity, information-sharing and the critical infrastructure underpinning our societies?


A political scientist with a background in computer science and military service, Jon Lindsay’s research examines the impact of technology on global security. His publications include China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain (Oxford University Press, 2015), co-edited with Tai Ming Cheung and Derek Reveron, and articles in International Security, Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Technology and Culture, and the Journal of Cybersecurity. He is completing a book, Shifting the Fog of War: Information Technology and the Politics of Control, and working on a multi-institutional research project on deterrence theory. Professor Lindsay holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. He has served in the U.S. Navy with operational assignments in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Lindsay gorman
fellow of emerging technologies
Alliance for securing democracy
german marshall fund’s alliance

Lindsay Gorman is the Emerging Technology Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy and a consultant for Schmidt Futures. A physicist and computer scientist by training, she previously ran a technology consulting firm, Politech Advisory, advising start-ups and venture capital and has worked with cybersecurity companies in Silicon Valley. Her research focuses on understanding and crafting a transatlantic response to China’s techno-authoritarian rise, from 5G and the future internet to information manipulation and censorship. Lindsay regularly briefs senior leaders across the Atlantic on these topics and building a democratic approach to emerging technologies. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project and an awardee of the U.S. State Department Speaker Program.

Lindsay has spent over a decade at the intersection of technology development and national security policy, including in the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Warner, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Academy of Sciences. Her technical expertise lies in artificial intelligence, statistical machine learning, and quantum materials. Lindsay holds an A.B. in physics from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a M.S. in applied physics from Stanford University.

Senior-Vice President and Director
Technology Policy Program
CentER for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

James Andrew Lewis is a senior vice president, director of the Strategic Technology Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the US Naval Academy. He has authored numerous publications on technology and national power. Lewis is an internationally recognized expert and a diplomat and a member of the Senior Executive Service. Lewis is frequently quoted in the media and has testified numerous times before Congress. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.



Michele Mosca is co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, a Professor in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization of the Faculty of Mathematics, and a founding member of Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He was the founding Director of CryptoWorks21, a training program in quantum-safe cryptography. He is a founder of the ETSI-IQC workshop series in Quantum-Safe Cryptography, and the not-for-profit Quantum-Safe Canada. He co-founded evolutionQ Inc. to support organizations as they evolve their quantum-vulnerable systems to quantum-safe ones and softwareQ Inc. to provide quantum software tools and services. He obtained his doctorate in Mathematics in 1999 from Oxford on the topic of Quantum Computer Algorithms, an MSc in Mathematics and the Foundations of Computer Science in 1996 from Oxford, and a BMath in Combinatorics & Optimization and Pure Mathematics in 1995 from Waterloo. His research interests include quantum computation and cryptographic tools designed to be safe against quantum technologies. He is globally recognized for his drive to help academia, industry and government prepare our cyber systems to be safe in an era with quantum computers. 







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