If you're running the final version of Windows 2000 (and let's face it, who isn't? Wait a second...), you can now download the High Encryption Pack, which adds 128-bit encryption to your system. Please note that you cannot later uninstall this package once it's installed. However, future upgrades to Windows 2000 will automatically upgrade the encryption as well.

For new Windows 2000 installations, the High Encryption Pack can actually be slipstreamed into the installation set, so that this feature is added to the OS during initial installation, not later during a separate setup. This feature will also be used to slipstream Service Pack releases into Windows 2000. And now that you've read about it here, expect other news agencies to pick right up on it!

Currently, the distribution of the High Encryption Pack for Windows 2000 is restricted to the United States, though U.S. regulations regarding high encryption are currently under review. To download the High Encryption Pack for Windows 2000, please visit the Microsoft Web site