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Plugging in to secure email

Privacy pioneer Philip Zimmermann's latest products allow secure email communications through Navigator and Eudora.

Pretty Good Privacy, a software firm founded by privacy pioneer Philip Zimmermann, is shipping a secure email plug-in for Netscape's Navigator 3.0 browser and for Qualcomm's Eudora Mail.

The Eudora privacy product had been previously announced, but the Netscape Mail plug-in was made known when it was released this weekend from PGP's Web site. Both products cost $149 and can be paid for online using CyberCash, DigiCash, and First Virtual Holdings payment systems.

PGPmail 4.5, the first commercial product shipped by Zimmermann's company, is an upgraded version of his popular encryption software that was previously marketed by Viacrypt, which PGP acquired this summer.

Available for Windows 95 and NT, it encrypts email messages and files to send over the Internet and corporate intranets. As a plug-in, it appears as a button on the toolbar of Eudora and Netscape mail products but also can encrypt messages sent with other email software.

"By integrating PGPmail 4.5 with two of the most widely used email programs, we're making private, secure email easily accessible to many millions of Internet users," PGP president and CEO Tom Steding said in a statement.

PGP also announced that beta versions of PGPdisk, for securely managing stored data, and PGPfone for secure voice communications over the Internet or traditional phone lines via modem, are available on its Web site. It expects to ship final versions of those products in 60 days.