WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Senate passed Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman’s (R-OH) bipartisan bill to strengthen national security by preparing the federal government’s defenses against quantum-computing-enabled data breaches. As quantum computers, including those being developed by our adversaries, continue to get more powerful and more widely available, federal agencies must proactively work to ensure that federal cybersecurity protections remain up to date. The bipartisan companion bill in the House was introduced by Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) and Nancy Mace (R-SC-01).
“Data breaches exploited by quantum computing are a serious national security concern. America’s adversaries look for any vulnerabilities in our cybersecurity systems in order to threaten our infrastructure, data, and security,” said Senator Hassan. “It is crucial that we are ready to defend against any adversaries using this incredibly sophisticated and emerging technology against our country. Protecting our homeland security is a bipartisan issue – I am pleased that the Senate passed our bill and I’ll keep working to get this across the finish line.”
“Quantum computing will provide for huge advances in computing power, but it will also create new cybersecurity challenges,” said Ranking Member Portman. “I’m pleased the Senate passed our bipartisan legislation to require the government to inventory its cryptographic systems, determine which are most at risk from quantum computing, and upgrade those systems accordingly.”
“As quantum computing advances, we need to take steps to protect the personal data of Americans as well as U.S. national security and government agencies data,” said Rep. Khanna. “I’m thrilled that the Senate has passed this bill to proactively keep our systems and valuable data safe and establish Congress’ oversight role in the process."
“Not only should our country lead the world in the research and development of quantum tech, but we should also lead the way in post-quantum cybersecurity standards across the government,” said Rep. Mace. “The passage of this bill is a crucial step forward in securing our nation from the threats of the future and readying ourselves for this leap in technology.”
The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act would:
Senator Hassan is leading efforts in Congress to invest in quantum research, which is critical to national security and the economy. Senators Hassan and John Thune’s (R-SD) measure to encourage quantum research efforts was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. Senators Hassan and Thune also previously introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen national security by advancing U.S. capabilities in quantum networking and establishing a more comprehensive approach to workforce development in this field. In addition, Senator Hassan previously joined the New Hampshire congressional delegation in announcing $2.76 million in federal funding for Dartmouth College to support its quantum genome mapping project.