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The goals of SSL Protocol v3.0, in order of their priority, are:

1. Cryptographic security
SSL should be used to establish a secure connection between two parties.
2. Interoperability
Independent programmers should be able to develop applications utilizing SSL 3.0 that will then be able to successfully exchange cryptographic parameters without knowledge of one another's code.

Note:It is not the case that all instances of SSL (even in the same application domain) will be able to successfully connect. For instance, if the server supports a particular hardware token, and the client does not have access to such a token, then the connection will not succeed.

3. Extensibility
SSL seeks to provide a framework into which new public key and bulk encryption methods can be incorporated as necessary. This will also accomplish two sub-goals: to prevent the need to create a new protocol (and risking the introduction of possible new weaknesses) and to avoid the need to implement an entire new security library.
4. Relative efficiency
Cryptographic operations tend to be highly CPU intensive, particularly public key operations. For this reason, the SSL protocol has incorporated an optional session caching scheme to reduce the number of connections that need to be established from scratch. Additionally, care has been taken to reduce network activity.

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