But the truth is that complete openness is probably bad for society. If all encryption was immediately broken, it would essentially halt electronic commerce transactions. Every authentication and authorization scheme would immediately become broken. Wanna go back to paying your electric bill in cash and in person? Want to get your paycheck submitted all in cash on payday and then try to walk back to your car at night? You certainly couldn't check your bank account or stock portfolio online -- or buy a book for your e-reader.
All VPNs and protected wireless connections would immediately be accessible to everyone. All the opened wireless connections would close down when the hosts didn't achieve the gains they had expected. Starbucks won't give free Internet access to people not buying their coffee. I wouldn't want my neighbors taking up my cable modem bandwidth because I couldn't keep them from joining my wireless router.
Worse yet, I'm absolutely sure that I wouldn't want every terrorist cell in the world having access to information on how to build nuclear bomb briefcases. Heck, I'm not sure I'd want every secret I've told my kids to be revealed: "Hey, kids, I was young and I didn't inhale."
If the assumed were to become true, that quantum computing will lead to the immediate breakdown in everything in the world previously encrypted, we'd be in deep trouble. It would mark the end of civilization as we know it. Anyone seen or read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"?
The real question is, how can we live with all the benefits of superfast computing without having to deal with all the potential problems? Fortunately, we haven't hit the performance thresholds yet and quantum cryptography solving is still work in progress.
This story, "Imagine a world with no cyber secrets," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in security and read more of Roger Grimes' Security Adviser blog at InfoWorld.com.