Legal

Kaspersky Lab Sues Trump Administration Over Agency Ban

Kaspersky Lab, the security company that saw the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ban the use of its products within the confines of federal agencies, announced Monday (Dec. 18) that it will appeal that decision.

In a press release, the company said it filed an appeal under the Administrative Procedure Act to enforce its constitutional due process rights and challenge the Binding Operational Directive. The company said the DHS’s decision is “unconstitutional” and relied on “subjective, non-technical public sources.” Some of them, said Kaspersky, included uncorroborated and anonymously sourced media reports, related claims and rumors. What’s more, Kaspersky claims that the DHS failed to provide the company with adequate due process to rebut the allegations that prompted the decision, and was not provided with any evidence of wrongdoing.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regard 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,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab. “Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: Make the world safer from cybercrime.”

Last week, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab software within the U.S. government, applicable to both civilian and military networks. According to Reuters, this is the final step in purging the Moscow-based antivirus firm from federal agencies amid concerns that it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

The ban, included as part of a broader defense policy spending bill that Trump signed, reinforces a directive issued by the administration in September that agencies remove Kaspersky Lab software within 90 days.

“The case against Kaspersky is well-documented and deeply concerning. This law is long overdue,” said Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who led calls in Congress to scrub the software from government computers. She added that the company’s software represented a “grave risk” to U.S. national security.

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government, and even offered to submit the source code of its software and future updates for inspection by independent parties. However, U.S. officials said that step would not be sufficient.

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