Thu. May 26th, 2022

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday added products from the Russian firm Kaspersky to its “Covered List” and said the company poses a risk to the national security of the United States.


Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm that makes products including antivirus software and virtual private networks, is headquartered in Moscow but operated from a holding company based in Britain.

It is the first company that is not from China to be added to the FCC list, though little explanation was given for its inclusion. The FCC did not cite the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the announcement.

With Kaspersky, the FCC also added two other Chinese companies to the list, which was created in March 2021, bringing the total number of foreign companies included to seven. Other notable companies previously placed on the list include Huawei and ZTE.

“I am pleased that our national security agencies agreed with my assessment that China Mobile and China Telecom appeared to meet the threshold necessary to add these entities to our list,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a statement.

“Their addition, as well as Kaspersky Labs, will help secure our networks from threats posed by Chinese and Russian state-backed entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests.”

Kaspersky said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the FCC decision which it said was “being made on political grounds.”

The company added that a decision from the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2017 to ban federal entities and contractors from using Kaspersky products and services was “unconstitutional.”

“Kaspersky believes today’s expansion of such prohibition on entities that receive FCC telecommunication-related subsidies is similarly unsubstantiated and is a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services,” the company said.

Kasperky added that “it has stated clearly that it doesn’t have any ties with any government, including Russia.”

Last week, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security encouraged  German citizens to replace applications from Kaspersky with products from other companies.

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