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PGP wins another email ally

Email software firm e Corp will add Pretty Good Privacy's encryption to its eMail '97 software targeted at experienced and international users.

Email software company e Corp will announce tomorrow that it is adding Pretty Good Privacy's encryption to its eMail '97 software, which is targeted at experienced and international users.

The company chose PGP encryption over rival RSA Data Security's algorithm for S/MIME secure email because PGP has a publicly available version of its number-scrambling software for anyone who wants to use it, e Corp president Sergio Radovcic said.

"We chose PGP because of the openness of the encryption algorithm," he said. "They make OpenPGP available to anyone who wants to use it, and we feel much safer because we know that."

S/MIME has fallen off the standards track at the World Wide Web Consortium, in part because it requires licensing RSA's algorithms. The W3C is pursuing a secure email standard based on OpenPGP.

E Corp's product can translate email into six languages--French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese--and supports two-way paging through email. eMail '97 is designed for "savvy" users, or those with more than one email account, and for people who do international business.

"It's difficult to promote [S/MIME] outside the United States because it requires a third-party certificate authority," Radovcic said. PGP doesn't require an independent CA to verify a user's identity.

eMail '97 version 1.4 is available for $60 in stores and $30 online.

The company expects to release two other products next month: E Server, an email management product, and Exact, an Internet-based contact manager for mobile use.