Kaspersky woes deepen – US court rules it out!

Russian based Kaspersky Labs has lost two lawsuits to overturn bans on the use of its security software products in US government networks.

The bans imposed in September 2017 were in response to allegations by US officials that the company’s software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.

Kaspersky counter-filed lawsuits in December and February. The basis of which was that the bans were unconstitutional and they caused it undue harm.

US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington said Kaspersky had failed to show that Congress violated constitutional prohibitions on legislation that “determines guilt and inflicts punishment” without the protections of a judicial trial.

“These defensive actions may very well have adverse consequences for some third-parties,” wrote Kollar-Kotelly. “But that does not make them unconstitutional.”

Kollar-Kotelly said the “theoretical harm” to Kaspersky’s reputation is “too vague and unsubstantiated”. She added that the company’s claim that it has a “right to sell to the government” is “worthless.”

Kaspersky said it is “disappointed with the court’s decisions,” and that it will “vigorously pursue its appeal rights”. It maintains that the US government’s ban was the “product of unconstitutional agency and legislative processes and unfairly targeted the company.”

“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,” it said. “Policy prohibiting the US government’s use of Kaspersky Lab products and services undermines the government’s expressed goal of protecting federal systems from the most serious cyber threats.”

GadgetGuy’s take – we like Kaspersky but …

There is an old saying – throw enough mud, and some will stick. It has been subject to the court and now the court of public opinion accused as a spy for Russia. It is not dissimilar to other companies of good standing like ZTE and Huawei about Chinese spying.

GadgetGuy does not have intimate knowledge of Kaspersky although we have met its affable founder Eugene Kaspersky on several occasions. The man with the thick Russian accent is easy to like.

We can neither make a buy or not recommendation on its consumer software. Let’s just say it is among the top five security software products sold here. On that basis, and unless you are handling state secrets, it is still a good choice.