Kaspersky Lab Sues the U.S. Government Over the Antivirus Products Ban

The Russian company Kaspersky Lab has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision to prohibit the use of Kaspersky products in federal agencies.

The appeal of Kaspersky Lab was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and it targets the DHS’s Binding Operational Directive 17-01, issued by the agency in September, this year. Last week, the US President Donald Trump reinforced the ban by signing the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the ban is unconstitutional as it infringes the company’s due process rights. The cybersecurity firm thinks that the DHS should have given it an opportunity to view the information and contest it before the directive was issued.

Additionally, the lawsuit of Kaspersky alleges that the decision to ban the use of its products in federal agencies is mostly based on rumors and media reports citing anonymous sources.

Despite the fact that some people do believe the U.S. government may have actual evidence that Kaspersky has been aiding Russia’s espionage efforts, there is nothing to proof this claim, and some officials base their accusations on news reports.

The cybersecurity firm says that it voluntarily contacted the DHS in July and offered them to assist with investigating the company and its products. However, instead of getting in touch with Kaspersky, DHS issued the 17-01 directive without any warning.

Kaspersky Lab also claims that while only a relatively small percentage of its revenue comes from the U.S. government, the DHS’s actions have had a negative impact on sales in the other sectors, in both – the U.S. and some other countries.

“Through Binding Operational Directive 17-01, DHS has harmed Kaspersky Lab’s reputation, negatively affected the livelihoods of its U.S.-based employees and U.S.-based business partners, and undermined the company’s contributions to the broader cybersecurity community,” the CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab Eugene Kaspersky stated.

In response to some U.S. Officials’ claims that Kaspersky’s software is dangerous due to the deep level of access and privileges it requires, the CEO of Kaspersky says that all security products have these capabilities and it’s not fair to single out his company without any evidence of doing wrong.

The cybersecurity firm has tried to clear its name by launching a new transparency initiative which features giving partners access to source code and paying significantly larger bug bounties for vulnerabilities found in the company’s products.

The Congress invited Eugene Kaspersky to testify in September, but he was unable to travel to the U.S. in time for the hearing due to visa problems. In October, a second hearing was announced, however, the CEO was not invited.

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