Kaspersky Lab appeals ban by US gov’t, hits lack of due process

Russia-based Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab has filed an appeal in federal court to overturn a decision of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) banning the use of the company’s products in federal agencies.

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Kaspersky Lab said it filed the appeal to enforce its constitutional due process rights and to challenge the Binding Operational Directive of the DHS, which prohibits the use of the company’s products and solutions by US government agencies.

The company asserted that the DHS decision is unconstitutional and relied on subjective, non-technical public sources such as uncorroborated and often anonymously sourced media reports, related claims, and rumors.

“Furthermore, DHS has failed to provide the company adequate due process to rebut the unsubstantiated allegations underlying the directive and has not provided any evidence of wrongdoing by the company,” the company said in a statement.

Kaspersky Lab said the move of the US government was surprising since its willingness to cooperate with the DHS has been well-documented.

It noted that it reached out to the DHS in mid-July, offering to provide any information or assistance concerning the company, its operations, or its products.

“In mid-August, DHS confirmed receipt of the company’s letter, appreciating the offer to provide information and expressing interest in future communications with Kaspersky Lab regarding the matter. However, the next communication from DHS to Kaspersky Lab was notification regarding the issuance of Binding Operational Directive 17-01 on September 13, 2017,” it said.

This action, the company said, has caused undue damage to its reputation in the IT security industry and its sales in the US. It has also unfairly called into question Kaspersky Lab’s fundamental principles of protecting its customers and combating cyber threats, regardless of their origin or purpose, the company said.

In filing the appeal, Kaspersky Lab said it hopes to protect its due process rights under the US Constitution and federal law and repair the harm caused to its commercial operations, its US-based employees, and its US-based business partners.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regards to the allegations and no technical evidence has been produced to validate DHS’s actions, it is in the company’s interests to defend itself in this matter. Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: make the world safer from cybercrime,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab.

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