Kaspersky Lab sues Trump administration over software ban
WASHINGTON - Reuters
Moscow-based anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab sued the Trump administration in U.S. federal court on Dec. 18, arguing that the American government has deprived it of due process rights by banning its software from U.S. government agencies.
The lawsuit is the latest effort by Kaspersky Lab to push back on allegations that the company is vulnerable to Kremlin influence.
The Department of Homeland Security in September issued a directive to U.S. civilian agencies ordering them to remove Kaspersky Lab from their computer networks within 90 days. The order came amid mounting concern among U.S. officials that the software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.
The ban was codified last week when President Donald Trump signed legislation banning Kasperky Lab from use across civilian and military agencies.
Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage.
“DHS has harmed Kaspersky Lab’s reputation and its commercial operations without any evidence of wrongdoing by the company,” the company’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, said in an open letter to the agency published on Dec. 18.
In an attempt to address suspicions, the company said in October it would submit the source code of its software and future updates for inspection by independent parties.
U.S. officials have said that step, while welcome, would not be sufficient.
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.