European Lawmakers Vote to Ban Kaspersky Lab Products

Kaspersky Lab has been forced to pull out of cross-industry collaborative efforts at a European level after the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for a ban on its products.

The resolution in question, which was passed by 476 votes to 151, focused on the EU’s foreign and security policy.

It stated:

“Calls on the EU to perform a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions in order to exclude potentially dangerous programmes and devices, and to ban the ones that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab.”

Although non-binding, the resolution could lead to more EU member states taking action to clamp down on sales of the Russian AV vendor’s products.

As a result, the firm has pulled out of co-operative efforts with Europol and the No More Ransom initiative “until the withdrawal of the European Parliament decision.”

“Why ban the company protecting Europeans from 320K malicious threats a day? A backwards step voted on this week in @Europarl_EN weakening #cybersecurity across the EU,” tweeted CEO Eugene Kaspersky.

“We get a ‘media-ocracy’ – with ‘news’ that isn’t news at all, just a vehicle for instilling in readers’ minds images of an ‘enemy’; then the 'news' are used to justify high-level political moves against the next-in-line-to-be-out-of-favor company.”

The move follows a ban on the use of Kaspersky Lab products for US and UK government use, and their removal from the shelves in some US stores such as Best Buy.

However, those in the industry jumped to the firm’s defense on Twitter — taking issue with the fact that lawmakers seem to believe the products are confirmed as malicious.

“Proposed EU parliament resolution refers to Kaspersky’s products matter-of-factly as ‘confirmed as malicious’. This is not the way to improve EU cyber defence, especially when the resolution otherwise commendably emphasizes co-operation,” tweeted F-Secure’s Artturi Lehtiö.

Noted security researcher Kevin Beaumont added that Kaspersky Lab is facing an execution without trial.

“The EU parliamentary wording re Kaspersky, which has been voted through, is crossing another bad rubicon in cyber security regarding collaboration and – frankly – law and evidence,” he argued.

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