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Senators Hassan and Portman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen National Security by Preparing for Quantum Cybersecurity Risks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced a 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 development of quantum computers is one of the next frontiers in technology, and with this emerging technology comes new risks as well,” said Senator Hassan. “Our national security information must remain secure as this technology quickly develops, and it is essential that the federal government is prepared to address cybersecurity concerns. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bipartisan bill to strengthen our cybersecurity defenses and protect our national security.”

“Quantum computing will provide for huge advances in computing power, but it will also create new cybersecurity challenges,” said Ranking Member Portman. “This bipartisan legislation will require the government to inventory its cryptographic systems, determine which are most at risk from quantum computing, and upgrade those systems accordingly. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this legislation.”

The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act would:

  • Require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prioritize the acquisition and migration of federal agencies’ information technology to post-quantum cryptography;
  • Instruct OMB to create guidance for federal agencies to assess critical systems one year after the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issues planned post-quantum cryptography standards;
  • Direct OMB to send an annual report to Congress that includes a strategy on how to address post-quantum cryptography risks, the funding that might be necessary, and an analysis on whole-of-government coordination and migration to post-quantum cryptography standards and information technology.

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.

To read the bill text, click here.