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IEEE standard 802.10 provides specifications for an interoperable data link layer security protocol and associated security services. The secure data exchange (SDE) protocol is supported by an application layer key management protocol (KMP) that establishes security associations for SDE and other security protocols. A security label option is specified that enables rule-based access control to be implemented using the SDE protocol. A method to allow interoperability with type-encoded medium access control (MAC) clients is also provided, as well as a set of managed object classes to be used in the management of the SDE sublayer and its protocol exchanges.