IBM obtains approval to ship 256-bit PCs globally

The announcement follows the recent loosening of the Clinton administration's encryption export policy, allowing US companies to apply for permission to export 256-bit technology. Peter Hortensius, IBM director of emerging technology, said today that IBM is believed to be the first such company to win approval.

The IBM PC 300PL computer and IntelliStation workstations each feature a security chip embedded on the system boards. The cryptographic microprocessor enables key decryption for privacy and digital signatures. It further allows 256-bit keys to store data locally or over a distributed network.

The PCs will be exported starting March 10. The US government eased export restrictions, but still forbids shipments of cryptographic technology and machines to some nations, such as Cuba and Iraq.

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