[ISN] US Eases up on Security Software Exports

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Mar 18 1999 - 02:16:08 PST

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    March 9, 1999
    U.S. Eases Up on Security Software Exports 
    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- The Internet security software maker Verisign
    Inc. said Monday that the United States agency that controls software
    exports would allow the company to ship its high-security products to a
    broader set of overseas customers. 
    Verisign stock surged after news of the expanded United States export
    approval, rising $14.75, or 14 percent, to $119, in Nasdaq trading.
    The company said it had won approval from the United States Department of
    Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration to expand the sale of its
    128-bit Global Server identification digital certificates.
    The software, which is used to authenticate the identity of individual
    computer users and thus pave the way for commercial transactions, uses
    128-bit encryption, considered a virtually unbreakable code against hacker
    Verisign said expanded sales authorization now includes online merchants,
    health care and insurance organizations and overseas units of United
    States corporations.
    Previously, such customers had to make do with weaker 40-bit encryption
    because of Government export limitations on more powerful encryption
    technology, which the Government regulates under laws designed to keep
    advanced munitions from slipping into enemy hands.
    Encryption software supporters see the sale of such software overseas as
    crucial to the United States computer industry's competitiveness; critics
    see the software as a potential threat to national security.
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