Of course, relatively few end users are running X/Windows on Unix
workstations. ``PGP is the solution we're doing now,'' said Dan Kohn,
president of Net Market. ``It's technology we happen to like because
it's cheap for providers and free for consumers.'' Kohn is open to
adopting other standards more likely to be deployed for the masses as
they evolve. ``The best model would be for firms offering online
services such as ourselves to pay reasonable fees for server technology
and for secure clients to be free.''
Another company working on secure Web client technology is Netscape
Communications Corp., formerly known as Mosaic Communications Corp. The
company, whose principals include Jim Clark (the founder of Silicon
Graphics) and Marc Andreessen (the co-author of the original X Mosaic
from NCSA), is developing commercial Web client and server products.
Netscape's approach to securing Mosaic also relies on RSA Data Security's public-key scheme, but its protocol enhancements differ from those proposed by Terisa Systems. It proposes to implement a Secure Socket Library to build a system it claims will be bulletproof. Netscape has announced a partnership with First Data Card Services, which is the world's largest credit-card authorization firm. Other partners include three banks: First Interstate, Old Kent, and Norwest Card Services.