SGC Certificates enable more Windows 2000 users (without Service Pack 4 or the high-encryption pack installed) and others to connect with 128 bit encryption. This means that tens of millions more users worldwide would get 128 bit encryption, if all eE-commerce businesses used SGC.

This was emphatically confirmed by an independent study conducted by the Yankee Group in September 2005. During the study, the security consultants examined 23 combinations of client configurations and four typical web servers, running no less than 368 tests and using video to document the results.

In the 1990s, the US government imposed restrictions on exporting strong cryptography to other countries. The restriction meant that software implementing SSL, such as web browsers, operating systems and web servers, had to limit encryption to weak algorithms and shorter key lengths if it was sold for use outside the United States. Legislators included an exception for financial transactions to ensure that customers worldwide could safely transact online using strong encryption. SGC was created as an extension to SSL for consumers with export versions of web browser software to use strong cryptography for financial transactions. US export laws were upheld by issuing SGC certificates only to eligible financial institutions, creating an enforcement point at the server without any impact to the client. The restrictions on export of strong encryption have since been lifted, and SGC certificates can be issued to any institution. Restrictions on encryption are evident in old versions of Windows 2000 running Internet Explorer that are still in use. Although newer versions of Windows 2000 provide these features, millions still use old versions. Users who are still using old browser versions that only provide weak 40 bit or 56 bit encryption can gain full-strength 128 bit encryption when conducting business with SGC-enabled web sites. With SGC, browser and operating system versions - whether exports or domestic - that would otherwise connect with weak encryption are afforded much stronger security. Until older versions of browser and operating systems disappear completely, SGC certificates can protect this portion of the user population.

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