RSA Data Security Inc. plans to announce today that it is offering a cryptographic tool kit for software written in the Java language.

The product, JSafe, could stimulate development of Internet commerce systems. Redwood City, Calif.-based RSA said it will be available this quarter.

Java, developed by Sun Microsystems Inc., is considered ideal for distribution of small applications, or applets, across any type of computing device or operating system, from mainframes down to smart cards. Citibank, Visa, and major smart card manufacturers are among those that have endorsed the Java approach.

By streamlining the implementation of data encryption, JSafe would make it easier to assemble a secure on-line banking or retailing package.

"Developers would have more confidence in an RSA implementation, rather than having to do it themselves from scratch," said Gary Kinghorn, the cryptography industry leader's product marketing director.

JSafe will support the RSA algorithms as well as digital signatures and certificates.

Mr. Kinghorn said JSafe is likely to evolve the way the company's basic BSafe kit did, with add-ons to accommodate the credit card industry's SET (Secure Electronic Transactions) protocol and other demands.

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