Rus­sian anti-virus firm to be purged

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Stephen Dinan

Act­ing Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Elaine Duke or­dered fed­eral agen­cies to iden­tify and stop use of any prod­ucts or ser­vices supplied by AO Kasper­sky Lab, say­ing the U.S. fears the com­pany’s ties to Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tives.

The new di­rec­tive ap­plies to the en­tire ex­ec­u­tive branch, which com­prises nearly ev­ery fed­eral govern­ment of­fice, ex­clud­ing only the courts and Congress.

In a state­ment, Home­land Se­cu­rity said Kasper­sky’s anti-virus prod­ucts give the com­pany broad ac­cess to files on com­put­ers, which in turn opens the com­put­ers up to be­ing com­pro­mised.

“The De­part­ment is con­cerned about the ties be­tween cer­tain Kasper­sky of­fi­cials and Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence and other govern­ment agen­cies, and re­quire­ments un­der Rus­sian law that al­low Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence agen­cies to re­quest or com­pel as­sis­tance from Kasper­sky and to in­ter­cept com­mu­ni­ca­tions tran­sit­ing Rus­sian net­works,” the de­part­ment said in a memo out­lin­ing the new or­der.

The new Home­land Se­cu­rity di­rec­tive gives all ex­ec­u­tive branch de­part­ments and agen­cies 30 days to iden­tify Kasper­sky prod­ucts they are us­ing, an­other 30 days to come up with a plan to ex­punge the soft­ware, and a fi­nal 30 days to carry it out.

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