The USA’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has added Kaspersky Antivirus to its list of companies that pose unacceptable risks to its national security. Kaspersky is the first Russian company on the list and is joined by China Mobile and China Telecom as companies deemed untrustworthy by the U.S. government. The move means U.S. businesses will be banned from using federal subsidies when dealing with Kaspersky and could negatively impact its business.
The FCC’s commissioner justified its actions by saying, “The FCC plays a critical role in securing our nation’s communications networks, and keeping our Covered List up to date is an important tool we have at our disposal to do just that.” He went on to say the move “will help secure our networks from threats posed by Chinese and Russian state-backed entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests.”
Unsurprisingly Kaspersky disagreed with the decision and released its own statement saying, “Kaspersky is disappointed with the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prohibit certain telecommunications-related federal subsidies from being used to purchase Kaspersky products and services. This decision is not based on any technical assessment of Kaspersky products – that the company continuously advocates for – but instead is being made on political grounds.”
The company also tried to clear its name by saying that it will “continue to assure its partners and customers on the quality and integrity of its products and remains ready to cooperate with US government agencies to address the FCC’s and any other regulatory agency’s concerns.”
Kaspersky’s Russian connection has caused problems in the past, and it was banned from U.S. federal use in 2017. The current situation in Ukraine has only made things worse, with Germany also warning against its use because it could be compromised by the Russian government and used for cyberattacks against other countries.