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Sunday, 06 August 2017 05:18

US mulling complete federal ban on Kaspersky products Featured

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Things are about to get worse for Kaspersky Lab in the US with the US Senate set to consider banning the use of its software in all federal agencies, using a provision in the National Defence Authorisation Act.

A report in the National Journal said a number of lawmakers had refused to rule out a total prohibition on Kaspersky software in critical infrastructure.

It quoted West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin as saying he would back such a ban on anything that was critical to the US national defence, be it economic, financial or infrastructure.

In July, the US removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of approved software suppliers for two government-wide purchasing contracts. Prior to that, the FBI interviewed several Kaspersky Lab employees.

However several US state governments are continuing to use Kaspersky products.

The move against Kaspersky Lab has come in the wake of allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections. Recently, the US approved more sanctions against Russia and Moscow retaliated by saying it would expel several hundred American diplomats.

The report quoted Texas Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, as claiming that the growing suspicion of Kaspersky predated the crisis in Ukraine and the more recent US-Russia tension.

“(Eugene) Kaspersky’s a Russian,” McCaul said. “And his affiliation with the Russian government — they’re obviously one of our biggest foreign adversaries in cyber space, so there’s always been that concern.”

“But I think now more has come out. I can’t really get into it.”

Eugene has offered to testify before US Congress and also offered to provide the source code of his company's products for review.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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