A new communications network to run between Beijing and Shanghai is expected to be the world's most secure computer network, The Telegraph reports. The network is supposed to be impenetrable to hackers and will give China a distinctive edge over cyber technology rivals, the United States.
By the year 2016 the fiber optic cable will be laid between the two cities, and will transmit quantum encryption keys that will completely protect sensitive information from governmental, military and financial sources from any potential hackers.
The cable will cost around $94 million and is being funded by the central government and the Central Military Commission. The cable will initially be used for money transfers by ICBC—the world's largest bank—but will eventually be used for a number of things, including storing photographs on cloud servers with the use of the quantum encryption software.
As things currently stand, if an individual wishes to send a secret message via the internet, they need to encrypt their communications—providing the user at the other end of the message with a code to unlock it. The National Security Agency, however, supposedly has computers powerful enough to break such codes and is currently developing a quantum computer able to decode such encryptions so quickly that it stands as little to no barrier.
If this network is able to tap fiber optic cables and duplicate the data, then hackers may be able to unlock the information. Quantum encryption works by writing encryption codes on photons of light; if a hacker tries to access the information, the photon code is disturbed and they can be detected.
Raymond Laflamme, the head of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, noted that "the Chinese are really pushing the boundaries [...] They are moving at an incredible rate. No one else around the world has plans that are this ambitious."