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Information security has been a critical issue in the design and development of reliable distributed communication systems and has attracted significant research efforts. A challenging task is how to maintain information security at a high level for multiple-destination video applications with the huge volume of data and dynamic property of clients. This paper proposes a novel Content-Aware Secure Multicast (CASM) protocol for video distribution that seamlessly integrates three important modules: 1)a scalable light-weight algorithm for group key management; 2) a content-aware key embedding algorithm that can make video quality distortion imperceptible and is reliable for clients to detect embedded keys; and 3) a smart two-level video encryption algorithm that can selectively encrypt a small set of video data only, and yet ensure the video as well as the embedded keys unrecognizable without a genuine key. The implementation of the CASM protocol is independent of the underlying multicast mechanism and is fully compatible with existing coding standards. Performance evaluation studies built upon a CASM prototype have demonstrated that CASM is highly robust and scalable in dynamic multicast environments. Moreover, it ensures secure distribution of key and video data with minimized communication and computation overheads. The proposed content-aware key embedding and encryption algorithms are fast enough to support real-time video multicasting.