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US Court Upholds Kaspersky Lab Government Ban

Kaspersky Lab has failed in its bid to have a ban on the sale of its products to government agencies overturned.

A US district court upheld the ban, despite the Moscow-based AV firm filing two lawsuits against the relevant documentation: the September 2017 Binding Operative Directive (BOD 17-01) and the Congressional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Kaspersky Lab’s founder Eugene Kaspersky had argued that the rulings violate the Fifth Amendment by interfering with due process.

However, judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed both arguments, ruling that the NDAA “eliminates a perceived risk to the nation’s cybersecurity and, in so doing, has the secondary effect of foreclosing one small source of revenue for a large multinational corporation.”

As the NDAA is taking effect later this year, the BOD wouldn’t cause any further impact to Kaspersky Lab because government agencies would already be warned off buying its products, she added.

In a statement, the AV firm said it was “disappointed” with the ruling and will be appealing the verdict.

“Kaspersky Lab maintains that these actions were the product of unconstitutional agency and legislative processes and unfairly targeted the company without any meaningful fact finding,” it added.

“Given the lack of evidence of wrongdoing by the company and the imputation of malicious cyber activity by nation-states to a private company, these decisions have broad implications for the global technology community. Policy prohibiting the US government's use of Kaspersky Lab products and services actually undermines the government's expressed goal of protecting federal systems from the most serious cyber threats.”

Kaspersky Lab launched a Global Transparency Initiative last year in a bid to reassure Western governments of its integrity in the face of claims it allowed Russian intelligence to use its products to spy on targets.

The firm is opening a Swiss datacenter as part of this effort to handle all data for customers in key markets like Europe, North America and Australia.

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