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The NBS Data Encryption Standard may be integrated into computer networks to protect personal (nonshared) files, to communicate securely both on- and off-line with local and remote users, to protect against key substitution, to authenticate system users, to authenticate data, and to provide digital signatures using a nonpublic key encryption algorithm. Key notarization facilities give users the capability of exercising a set of commands for key management as well as for data encryption functions. The facilities perform notarization which, upon encryption, seals a key or password with the identities of the transmitter and intended receiver. Thus, in order to decrypt a message, the receiver must authenticate himself and supply the correct identity of the transmitter. This feature eliminates the threat of key substitution which must be protected against to attain a high level of security.