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Bipartisan Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Bill Passes in House, Awaits Action from Senate; Rep. Ro Khanna Quoted

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The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, a legislative measure aimed to safeguard secure government information in anticipation of the continuing prevalence of quantum computing, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Contained in the bill are mandates to the Office of Management and Budget to work alongside the Chief Information Officers Council and to furnish Congress with updates on the status of the federal government’s movement toward post-quantum cryptography standards, the office of California Representative Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said Tuesday.

“It’s not just our personal lives that would be upended in a post-quantum future. Our U.S. national security and government agencies data could be exposed and exploited as well,” Khanna asserted.

Khanna additionally urged the Senate to take the next steps in passing the bill so that it could be signed into law by the President, adding that this would be a crucial move in protecting citizens’ data.

The California congressman spearheaded the bill alongside Virginia Representative Gerry Connelly and South Carolina’s Nancy Mace, in a bipartisan effort. If codified, the coalition argues, the government would be equipped to ably combat bad actors and cybercriminals that utilize emergent quantum computing strategies for malpractice. The bill would also allow Congressional oversight into this undertaking.

Mace underlined the transformative potential of quantum computing and its capacity to “take our civilization forward in leaps and bounds” and “turn our conventional understanding of computing on its head.” But she also stressed the bill’s necessity in putting the proper protections in place so that innovation does not beget powerful and emboldened actions on the part of hackers.

As specified in the bill, the director of OMB would play an instrumental role in advising Congress on how to best strategize and organize against quantum-powered cyber invasions.

“We must be forward thinking to ensure we are an enterprise that guarantees security, builds trust, and improves customer service. Passage of this bill lets us do just that,” shared Connelly.