The United States has a ban on Kaspersky Software

State of the State: Kaspersky’s Russian Connections are an Undeserving Threat to U.S. National Security or the Safety and Security

The government says Kaspersky’s Russian connections mean the company poses an “undue or unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the safety and security.”

Gina Raimondo told reporters during a Thursday briefing that when thinking about national security, you may think about guns and tanks. It’s about technology, it’s about dual use technology, and it’s about data.

Commerce will work with the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to spread the word about the ban and ensure a smooth transition, Raimondo said. We don’t want to disrupt the business or family of Americans.

The DHS will contact critical infrastructure organizations that use the internet company to brief them on alleged national security risks and give them alternatives.

We will defend ourselves against actions that attempt to unfairly harm our reputation and commercial interests as we look forward to the future, it said.

The company says it cannot deliberately obtain sensitive data on Americans and that its operations and employees in Russia can only access aggregate or statistical data not attributable to a specific person. It said the main impact of the U.S. government’s decision would be to benefit cybercrime, while also diminishing the freedom of consumers and organizations to choose the cyber protection they want.

The Associated Press found that there was an effort to gather intelligence on critics of Kaspersky by an undercover operative.

The company conducts much of its business in Russia and, as a Russian citizen who lives in that country, Eugene Kaspersky himself is subject to Russian law, the Commerce Department said in a decision dated June 14 that was posted on the Federal Register.

Kaspersky said the government had based its decision on the “geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns” rather than independently verifying if there was a risk.

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