The NSA is trying to build the fastest computer in the world

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The Washington Post is reporting on another secret National Security Agency project revealed by Edward Snowden. The $80 million project is called Penetrating Hard Targets. It's goal is to build a quantum computer that can break every kind of encryption currently used in the world. Quantum computers are a complicated to explain, but think of a machine that operates under the theoretical laws of quantum physics. It would probably be faster than all of the world's current supercomputers combined, and it could ostensibly gain access to banking records, medical records, and other private data sets. Steven Rich co-wrote the story in The Washington Post, and tells Marketplace Tech more.

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Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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