Kaspersky Ban Stirs Confusion, Fear in US

Kaspersky Lab CEO and Chairman Eugene Kaspersky

Russia calls US ban on Kaspersky products 'regrettable' (Lead)

The firm has about 400 million customers worldwide.

The statement of the company, which was received by RBC, says that the organization has no political ties with any state in the world, has never helped and will not help any government in cyber espionage attempts.

"The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky", the announcement expanded on their reason to ban federal civilian agencies from using Kaspersky software.

Elaine C. Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, ordered federal agencies on Wednesday to begin devising plans to remove all Kaspersky software from government computer systems within the next 90 days due to fears that Kaspersky software may be acting as spyware for the Russian government.

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Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of homeland security, issued a Binding Operational Directive this week that calls on USA government agencies and departments to find any use of Kaspersky software on their systems within 30 days. However, this directive doesn't only see the company from getting banned in the government offices, but private firms like Best Buy have also publicly announced to ditch the company's products.

Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, called the USA government decision "prudent"; he had argued for such a step in July.

Kaspersky Lab maintains that "all accusations brought against us are baseless", the company said in a statement quoted by TASS.

And chiefs of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CIA kept it short and sweet, answering with a simple "no" when asked if they would be alright with running Kaspersky's software on their agencies' systems.

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Both the company and its co-founder have denied the allegations.

The hearing before the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will take place on 27 September and will also no doubt cover his company's alleged relationship with the Russian government.

Federal contracting databases reviewed by Reuters show only a few hundred thousand dollars in purchases from Kaspersky, and an employee told Reuters in July the company's federal government revenue was "miniscule".

The Kremlin has criticized the USA government's latest ban, describing it as unfair competition.

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Kaspersky claims that his company is at the centre of a geopolitical tussle between the United States and Russia, with Kaspersky arguably the most high-profile Russian technology company and, hence, an easy target.

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