A secure, trusted network management function embedded within a network interface device is provided. The network interface device connects a host computer to a network and contains a host bus interface, a network interface, and control logic. The network interface device incorporates a secure language processor, non-volatile memory, and a carrier sense circuit. The secure language processor executes a secure language program, and the non-volatile memory stores identification keys for remote devices and objects of value for network applications. If an application program is to be executed or accessed by the host computer, the secure language processor verifies that the object of value allows such execution or access. If a remote network device attempts to control the functionality of the network interface device, the secure language processor verifies that the remote network device has the authority to issue such a command.