The data security company Spyrus said it expects the recent declassification of the Fortezza Crypto Card standard to spur use of government-strength data encryption.

Spyrus offers software, now part of its Spex tool kit, that emulates the operation of the Fortezza computer cards. Spyrus, which has supplied 350,000 of the cards to the U.S. government since 1995, said the software option should attract considerable private-sector interest.

The National Security Agency in June declassified two secret cryptographic algorithms-Skipjack and Key Exchange Algorithm-for use in Software Fortezza. Spyrus in turn added the Software Fortezza Cryptographic Library to Spex, which developers can also use for smart cards and other forms of hardware security, and the NSA selected the library as a government reference model.

Commercial availability of Software Fortezza is "a milestone in our efforts to provide a cost-effective cryptography solution," said Spyrus president and chief executive officer Sue Pontius.

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