Quantum-resistant algorithms, and Google’s antitrust

Cryptographic algorithms are what keep us safe online, protecting our privacy and securing the transfer of information.

But many experts fear that quantum computers could one day break these algorithms, leaving us open to attack from hackers and fraudsters. And those quantum computers may be ready sooner than many people think.

That’s why there is serious work underway to design new types of algorithms that are resistant to even the most powerful quantum computer we can imagine. Read our emerging journalist fellow Tammy Xu’s full story on how quantum-resistant algorithms are being developed—and what comes next.

This is part of Tech Review Explains: where our writers untangle the complex, messy world of technology to help you better understand what comes next. Check out our other smart explainers here.

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The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Google has lost its EU antitrust challenge
It’s been fined more than 4 billion euros after it was found to have abused its dominance of the Android system. (Reuters)
+ The company failed to appeal the charge, which was first announced in 2018. (The Verge)
+ South Korea has fined Google and Facebook for privacy violations. (FT $)

2 The US economy isn’t out of the woods yet
Inflation hasn’t fallen in the way investors had hoped it would. (Economist $)

3 Someone is digging for dirt on the Twitter whistleblower
Whoever’s behind it is willing to pay—but his former colleagues are keeping schtum. (New Yorker $)
+ Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko’s Senate testimony did not paint Twitter in a good light. (WP $)
+ In fact, it’s renewed senators’ appetite for tighter regulation. (Bloomberg $)

4 What robot surgeons and autonomous cars have in common
We’re still reluctant to trust them with life or death decisions. (Knowable Magazine)
+ Robot-assisted high-precision surgery has passed its first test in humans. (MIT Technology Review)

5 The hard lessons learned from California’s wildfires
And the role power companies played in exacerbating them. (Vox)
+ Gene-edited crops could benefit from Europe’s severe drought. (Wired $)

6 Brain scans can’t diagnose mental conditions
However, some scientists are hopeful that they could help to aid recovery. (Slate $)
+ The quest to learn if our brain’s mutations affect mental health. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Inside the memeification of culture wars
Online tropes have mobilized huge groups to the point of insurrection. (The Atlantic $)

8 Elon Musk’s biggest fans are moving to Texas 🌵
To get as close to the SpaceX action as possible. (The Verge)
+ No one else at SpaceX can access Musk’s emails. (The Verge)

9 How to turn personal tragedy into content 
Eva Benefield’s t-shirt business is thriving off the back of her dark past. (Input)

10 America is making the moon a priority again 🌕
Despite the difficulties in sending humans back there. (New Scientist $)
+ Ukraine’s astronomers keep spotting loads of UFOs. (Motherboard)

Quote of the day