Eugene Kaspersky, the co-founder and chief executive of Moscow-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, has accepted an invitation to testify before Congress over the security of his company’s products.
Reuters reported the news that Kaspersky will testify later this month, but he needs an expedited visa in order to do so.
The announcement comes just one day after the U.S. banned federal agencies from using computer antivirus software supplied by Kaspersky due to concerns about the company’s ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy operations. The directive is the result of several open investigations into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The order states that all U.S. federal agencies and departments must stop using products or services supplied directly or indirectly by the company. Agencies have 30 days to determine whether they are using any Kaspersky products, and the software must be removed from all information systems within 90 days.
And there’s a good chance the directive could become a law: Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire has been working to pass a government-wide ban on Kaspersky software.
In an opinion piece published by Forbes on Thursday, Kaspersky said his company had been plagued for nearly five years by unsubstantiated rumors that have yielded no proof of any wrongdoing.
“I’ve repeatedly offered to meet with government officials, testify before the U.S. Congress, provide the company’s source code for an official audit and discuss any other means to help address any questions the U.S. government has about Kaspersky Lab – whatever it takes, I will do it,” Kaspersky wrote.
The committee invited Kaspersky to testify at a congressional hearing on September 27. U.S. government and private-sector cyber experts were also invited.
“I appreciate and accept the invitation to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and if I can get an expedited visa, I look forward to publicly addressing the allegations about my company and its products,” Kaspersky said in an email to Reuters.