Tandem Computers Inc.'s Atalla unit said the U.S. Department of Commerce has granted a commodity classification license that will allow export of its PayMaster Internet security processor products.

The hardware-based PayMaster is designed for high-volume cryptographic management in electronic commerce transactions, particularly those under the MasterCard-Visa Secure Electronic Transactions protocol.

Like many other companies relying on data encryption in their products, Atalla needed federal approval to export stronger security products than had previously been allowed.

"We live in a global economy, where many commercial transactions take place on the Internet," said Robert Gargus, president of Atalla and an advocate in the encryption export campaign. "The Department of Commerce recognizes this and realizes the importance of protecting these financial transactions. We are very pleased with their decision to allow us to export Atalla's strong encryption technology."

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