Parliament Sitting on 29 November 2022

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

21. Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether the Government has conducted any studies on the impact of quantum computing technology; (b) if so, what is the Government’s assessment of the risk and potential time horizon of quantum computing rendering contemporary traditional encryption algorithms obsolete and vulnerable; and (c) what are the Government's plans to ensure encrypted digital records and communications networks will remain secure even in the event of a breakthrough in quantum computing.


Answer:

1. The field of quantum computing is relatively nascent. Quantum computers are expected to be able to solve certain types of complex calculations faster than conventional computers today, and can benefit various sectors, including the healthcare and biomedical sector for drug development. To reap these opportunities, Singapore has made steady investments in quantum research and development over the past two decades, including the establishment of Centre for Quantum Technologies as a Research Centre of Excellence. This year, the National Quantum Office was set up in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research to further advance Singapore’s quantum technologies, talent and ecosystem development.  

2. There is growing international interest in the potential risk of quantum computing to cryptography, which would affect digital authentication and communications. The US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology has been leading efforts to standardize post-quantum cryptography, which we are monitoring. In Singapore, the National Quantum-Safe Network was launched this year as a nationwide testbed to trial and assess commercial quantum-safe technologies, such as Quantum Key Distribution. Beyond that, the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Information and Media Development Authority are working with other relevant agencies to develop quantum-safe approaches for the continued security of digital communications and records.

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