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Has anyone implemented the BB84 protocol and put it in production?

The BB84 is a quantum key distribution scheme developed by Charles Bennett and Gilles Brassard in 1984. It is the first quantum cryptography protocol.

I am thinking of incorporating the BB84 protocol into the network list of protocols at the IETF.

Nathan Aw

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  • $\begingroup$ Related question. See in particular the reference in section D.4 of my long answer, which calls for standardization. $\endgroup$
    – fgrieu
    Nov 14, 2020 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ There's a QKD committee at ETSI that produced a ton of standards. ETSI GS QKD 008 V1.1.1 has gems like "All cryptographic code within the module shall be in executable form" and "The Module Software Interface shall not permit the operator of the service to read the software" which should make any reasonable person realize that actual security issues are not the ones QKD solves. Count me out! $\endgroup$
    – fgrieu
    Nov 14, 2020 at 19:07

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Has anyone implemented the BB84 protocol and put it in production?

There are a number of commercial QKD devices on the market, including ones by IDQuantique, QuintessenceLabs, MagicQ and SeQureNet. In addition, there are a number of other companies that are working on it (and may be actively marketing them as well).

Some of these companies use an internal protocol similar to the original BB84 protocol; others use other versions of quantum key exchange.

I am thinking of incorporating the BB84 protocol into the network list of protocols at the IETF

Now, the IETF (actually, the IRTF) has a research group, the Quantum Internet Research Group, that is already chartered to cover QKD (although that is not their main focus). I'm not sure what your master list of network protocols is, but it should already be there.

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks! do you know of any novices who have pulled off the implementation? $\endgroup$
    – Nathan Aw
    Nov 17, 2020 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ @NathanAw: not off hand; however, if you mean "novices to performing Quantum Measurements", I'd be rather surprised if there were. QKD requires the implementation to perform Quantum Measurements, which are tiny (compared to what we are used to), and I'm sure that there are a number of practical subtleties involved that a novice would not be aware of... $\endgroup$
    – poncho
    Nov 17, 2020 at 14:34

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