Rus­sia says Kasper­sky re­moval in US de­lays nor­mal­iz­ing ties

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

The de­ci­sion by the US gov­ern­ment to stop us­ing Kasper­sky Lab prod­ucts is “re­gret­table” and de­lays the prospects of a restora­tion of bi­lat­eral ties, said the Rus­sian Em­bassy in the US.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion on Wed­nes­day told US gov­ern­ment agen­cies to re­move Kasper­sky Lab prod­ucts from their net­works, say­ing it was con­cerned the Moscow-based cy­ber se­cu­rity firm was vul­ner­a­ble to Krem­lin in­flu­ence and that us­ing its anti-virus soft­ware could jeop­ar­dize na­tional se­cu­rity.

“Th­ese steps can only evoke re­grets. They only move back the prospects of bi­lat­eral ties re­cov­ery,” the em­bassy said in a state­ment late on Wed­nes­day.

It also called for con­sid­er­a­tion of Rus­sia’s pro­posal to form a joint group to ad­dress cy­ber se­cu­rity is­sues.

The de­ci­sion of re­mov­ing Kasper­sky Lab prod­ucts rep­re­sents a sharp re­sponse to what US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have de­scribed as a na­tional se­cu­rity threat posed by Rus­sia in cy­berspace, fol­low­ing an elec­tion year marred by al­le­ga­tions that Moscow weaponized the In­ter­net in an at­tempt to in­flu­ence its out­come.

In a state­ment, Kasper­sky Lab re­jected the al­le­ga­tions, as it has done re­peat­edly in re­cent months, and said its crit­ics were mis­in­ter­pret­ing Rus­sian datashar­ing laws that only ap­plied to com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.

“No cred­i­ble ev­i­dence has been pre­sented pub­licly by any­one or any or­ga­ni­za­tion as the ac­cu­sa­tions are based on false al­le­ga­tions and in­ac­cu­rate as­sump­tions,” the com­pany said.

The Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity is­sued a di­rec­tive to fed­eral agen­cies or­der­ing them to iden­tify Kasper­sky prod­ucts on their in­for­ma­tion sys­tems within 30 days and be­gin to dis­con­tinue their use within 90 days.

The or­der ap­plies only to civil­ian gov­ern­ment agen­cies and not the Pen­tagon, but US in­tel­li­gence lead­ers said ear­lier this year that Kasper­sky was al­ready gen­er­ally not al­lowed on mil­i­tary net­works.

Kasper­sky Lab has re­peat­edly de­nied that it has ties to any gov­ern­ment and said it would not help a gov­ern­ment with cy­ber es­pi­onage.

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