RSA Sells Encryption Software from Australia

RSA Data Security Inc. today announced the opening of a subsidiary in Australia to develop and sell certain encryption software worldwide that it cannot sell from its U.S. headquarters. The U.S. restricts the export of strong encryption developed in the U.S.

The Brisbane-based, wholly owned subsidiary, called RSA Data Security Australia Pty Ltd., today launched its first product, a toolkit designed for independent software vendors and developers.

The toolkit, called BSAFE SSL-C, was created outside of the U.S. and can thus be sold legally by RSA Data Security Australia to customers around the world, according to Katherine Stolz, product manager for security protocols at RSA in the U.S.

"The code base that this product is developed on was created internationally," Stolz said.

BSAFE SSL-C provides ISVs and developers with the tools they need to implement the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, as well as the Transport Layer Security (TLS v.1.0) protocol, according to RSA Data Security.

BSAFE SSL-C is based on SSLeay, an implementation of SSL created by Eric Young and Tim Hudson, Australian cryptographers who have joined the newly formed RSA Data Security Australia. So far, the subsidiary employs four people, but the division is slated to grow substantially, according to Stolz, who declined to be more specific.

In establishing the Australian subsidiary, RSA Data Security worked closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce to ensure the company did not run afoul of U.S. law.

"RSA worked with us to make sure that ...wherever and however they set up shop, it would be using non-U.S. technology and no U.S. personnel," said a Commerce official who asked not be identified.

RSA Data Security's Stolz would not comment on whether the company would transfer its research and development functions to Australia so that it can export future products worldwide. The Commerce Department official dismissed the notion that U.S. law could impel U.S. encryption companies to export their jobs, since they cannot export their software.

"Every country has its equivalent of the Commerce Department," the official said.

RSA, in San Mateo, California, can be reached at +1-650-295-7600 or http://www.rsa.com/.

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