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US to ban Americans from using Russian anti-virus software – CNN

The use of Kaspersky Lab’s products is seen as a threat to national security, officials in Washington reportedly say

Washington is planning to bar US businesses and individuals from using software created by the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed government officials familiar with the matter. The move is seen as “unprecedented,” as measures of the kind have never targeted private companies and citizens.

The comprehensive ban is currently being finalized and could be imposed as soon as this month, the sources told the news network. The new regulation would use “relatively new Commerce Department authorities built on executive orders” by Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from providing certain products and services in the country, they added.

According to the sources, the order is aimed at mitigating risks allegedly posed by Kaspersky’s software to critical US infrastructure.

As part of preparatory works for the move, the US Department of Commerce has made an “initial determination” to ban certain transactions between the Russian cybersecurity company and US citizens, the sources added.

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They haven’t, however, provided any details regarding the full scope of a final order against Kaspersky products, but said that it would focus on the firm’s anti-virus software.

In 2022, the Federal Communications Commission placed the internet-security provider on a list of companies deemed a threat to US national security. Following the move, Kaspersky said in a statement that the decision had been made on “political grounds” rather than on the basis of “a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services.”

In 2017, US regulators banned federal government use of Kaspersky software. Back then, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cited increased fears that the firm had ties to state-sponsored spying programs as a key reason for the move.

Later, the company filed two lawsuits against the decision taken by the Trump administration, saying the bans were unconstitutional and that they caused Kaspersky Lab undue harm. In 2018, the District of Columbia court dismissed both cases, having upheld the ban imposed by Washington.

April 10, 2024 at 04:27PM

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