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Kaspersky Lab appeals US ban

Russian security software giant appeals US government's decision to ban the use of its products in federal agencies

Kaspersky Lab is appealing the US government’s decision to ban the use of its products in federal agencies

In September 2017, acting secretary of homeland security Elaine Duke issued a binding operational directive (BOD) instructing Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies to identify and remove Kaspersky products from their information systems in the next 30 days.

This followed concerns about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence, as well as requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and intercept communications transiting Russian networks.

Kaspersky Lab has now filed an appeal to challenge the ban. It claimed the DHS’s decision is unconstitutional and relied on subjective, non-technical public sources such as uncorroborated and often anonymously sourced media reports, claims, and rumors.

“Furthermore, DHS has failed to provide the company adequate due process to rebut the unsubstantiated allegations underlying the Directive and has not provided any evidence of wrongdoing by the company,” said a Kaspersky labs statement.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regards to the allegations and no technical evidence has been produced to validate DHS’s actions, it is in the company’s interests to defend itself in this matter. Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: make the world safer from cybercrime,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab said it contacted the DHS in mid-July, offering to provide any information or assistance concerning the company and in mid-August, DHS confirmed receipt of the company’s letter, appreciating the offer to provide information and expressing interest. But the next communication from DHS to Kaspersky Lab was notification regarding the issuance of the Binding Operational Directive.

Read more about Kaspersky Lab’s US ban

Kaspersky said that as a result, DHS’s actions have caused undue damage to both the company’s reputation in the IT security industry and its sales in the US.

Barclays bank in the UK has since stopped offering new customers security software from Kaspersky after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned the UK government against using Russian cyber security products. Read an open letter from Eugene Kaspersky on the subject.

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