President Donald Trump has just signed into law a ban on Kaspersky Lab software for government use. Federal and state agencies are barred from using the popular Russian antivirus solution from now on.
The measure was included in a military policy bill called the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The ban is a response to a directive the White House issued in September advising federal agencies to stop using the software. At the time, Trump administration officials voiced concerns that Kaspersky could be used by Moscow to spy on U.S. government’s work.
Washington has turned cybersecurity into a hot-button issue after numerous leaks during last year’s presidential campaign influenced the election’s outcome. Federal investigators also found that Russia may have hired professional social media users and used spambots to push for their favorite candidate and policies.
Both the public and private sectors have also faced numerous security breaches this year. In May, the President signed into law an executive order that required federal agencies to improve their cybersecurity and update hardware.
Kaspersky Lab Software May Pose National Security Risk
The promoter of the Kaspersky ban, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen hailed the measure. She noted that the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab represents a threat to the country’s national security.
The senator thinks that the security risks posed by the Russian cybersecurity firm have been long-documented and that the law was “long overdue”.
The Russian company did not immediately respond to the press’ questions, but in the past, it denied any involvement with the Russian government. Earlier this year, it said that there are no “inappropriate ties” with the Russian government or any other government. Kaspersky noted that its critics have failed to produce any “credible evidence” to back their claims.
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