As the internet and mobile companies constantly strive for spy-proof, secure technology for customers who use smart phones, laptops or tablets, a team of scientists have shown how a novel quantum cryptography technology can help them achieve an 'NSA proof' world.
Currently available quantum cryptography technology is bulky, expensive and limited to fixed physical locations - often server rooms in a bank.
The University of Bristol has shown how it is possible to reduce these bulky and expensive resources so that a client requires only the integration of an optical chip into a mobile handset.
"With much attention currently focused on privacy and information security, people are looking to quantum cryptography as a solution since its security is guaranteed by the laws of physics," said Anthony Laing from centre for quantum photonics at University of Bristol.
"Our work shows that quantum cryptography need not be limited to large corporations, but could be made available to members of the general public. The next step is to take our scheme out of the lab and deploy it in a real communications network," he explained.
The scheme relies on the breakthrough protocol that allows the robust exchange of quantum information through an unstable environment.
The system uses photons - single particles of light - as the information carrier and the scheme relies on the integrated quantum circuits.
These tiny microchips are crucial for the widespread adoption of secure quantum communications technologies.
"This heralds a new dawn for secure mobile banking, online commerce, and information exchange and could shortly lead to the production of the first 'NSA proof' mobile phone," Laing noted.
The research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters.