Kaspersky Lab To Appeal Court Decision To Dismiss US Ban

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

US judges dismiss two lawsuits from Russian firm to overturn American ban on its security products

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab has suffered yet another setback in its attempt to convince the world that it is not a stooge for the Russian intelligence services.

A US federal judge on Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits by Kaspersky Lab, which sought to overturn bans on its security products for the US government.

It comes after the US Department for Homeland Security last year banned the use Kaspersky products from use by federal government agencies.

Kaspersky

Challenge defeated

That Homeland Security order applied only to civilian government agencies and not the Pentagon, but Kaspersky products were already not allowed on military networks, after the US General Services Administration removed Kaspersky from an approved-vendors list in July 2017.

And now according to Reuters, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington said Kaspersky had failed to show that Congress violated constitutional prohibitions on legislation that “determines guilt and inflicts punishment” without the protections of a judicial trial.

She also dismissed Kaspersky’s action to overturn the DHS ban for lack of standing.

The move is yet another blow for the Russian security firm. It said it would seek to appeal the decision.

“These actions were the product of unconstitutional agency and legislative processes and unfairly targeted the company without any meaningful fact finding,” Kaspersky is quoted as saying in a statement.

Kaspersky has long maintained that it is subject to ‘completely unfounded allegations‘ and said that ‘no credible evidence has been presented’ and that the ‘accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions.’

National security

Indeed, Kaspersky Lab has spent the best part of a year or more denying it has any links to Russian intelligence services, but a number of Western governments have banned its use within governmental departments on national security grounds.

In an effort to stop this, Kaspersky Lab even offered last October its source code of current and future versions of its products for independent review, but US officials have said such a step would not suffice to overturn their qualms.

In the UK, GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned government departments not to use antivirus software with links to Russia – such as those of Kaspersky Lab – for systems related to national security.

Twitter in April also banned Kaspersky from being able to advertise on the social network, saying the company violated its Twitter ads rules.

And the Dutch government this month joined the US, UK, and Lithuania when it said it would phase out Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software.

Earlier this month Kaspersky Lab confirmed plans to build a data centre in Switzerland in an effort to allay Western national security concerns.

This Swiss facility is to be one of a series of ‘transparency centres’ located around the world, and will be used to collect and analyse files identified as suspicious from the computers of tens of millions of Kaspersky customers based in the United States and European Union.

Kaspersky had been hoping that its ‘transparency centres’ will ease Western concerns over allegations its software is used by Russian intelligence for spying purposes.

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