Gemplus said it is expanding a strategic relationship with Verisign Inc. in hopes of promoting the use of smart cards for Internet-based network security.

The smart card maker said it will bundle its GemSafe card with Verisign's Digital ID.

GemSafe is designed to hold any standard digital certificate, but the downloading of Versign's will be "seamless, easy to do, and at no additional cost," the companies said, adding that they will undertake more cooperative efforts.

They previously worked on the e-Comm electronic commerce project in France, using Verisign certificates under the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol.

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