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Fully Homomorphic Encryption

I didn’t know it at the time I posted my idea on secure computing, but others have been working on the idea for quite some time. It turns out that Craig Gentry recently published Fully homomorphic encryption using ideal lattices. For those, like myself, who are not well versed in the crypto terminology, Scott Aaronson provides a nice summary.

First, in what might or might not turn out to be the biggest cryptographic breakthrough in decades, Craig Gentry has proposed a fully homomorphic encryption scheme based on ideal lattices: that is, a scheme that lets you perform arbitrary computations on encrypted data without decrypting it. Currently, Gentry’s scheme is not known to be breakable even by quantum computers—despite a 2002 result of van Dam, Hallgren, and Ip, which said that if a fully homomorphic encryption scheme existed, then it could be broken by a quantum computer. (The catch? Van Dam et al.’s result applied to deterministic encryption schemes; Gentry’s is probabilistic.)

So this essentially fulfills my idea, that in order to take advantage of cloud services, it’s imperative that you be able to store and compute in an encrypted domain. Otherwise, your service provider might spy on you.

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