Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has publicly affirmed that he is willing to allow the government of the United States to inspect his firm’s source code to quell any questions and trust issues about Kaspersky’s antivirus and cybersecurity products.
Kaspersky’s invite comes after round upon round of sparring between the U.S. and Russian governments over potential election hacking. It carries on a long complaint about the Russian company that shares a name with its founder. Eugene Kaspersky attended a KGB-sponsored school and once worked for Russia’s Ministry of Defense. He also reportedly has many ties to Russia’s intelligence community.
Senators suggested last week that Kaspersky Lab products should no longer be used by the U.S. military. Senator Jeanne Shaheen said there was “a consensus in Congress and among administration officials that Kaspersky Lab cannot be trusted to protect critical infrastructure.”
Kaspersky admits to having ex-Russian intelligence workers, primarily as sales staff in government liaison roles. But he claims his company only does defensive security work and has no ties to the Russian government.
The Russian government, notably, has asked for similar code access from American technology firms, and many – including IBM, Cisco, and SAP – have acquiesced.