Kaspersky Files Lawsuit to Reverse Congressional Ban

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Russian antivirus company Kaspersky has filed a second lawsuit, this time to reverse December’s congressional ban on government use included in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018.

In January, the company filed a lawsuit to overturn DHS’s October directive ordering all Kaspersky software to be scrubbed from government computers amid concerns about links to Russian intelligence operations. Kaspersky wanted to reverse the ban and seek an injunction so that DHS would have to immediately cease removing the company’s software from computers in the interim. The DHS directive was then superseded by the passage of the NDAA Act, which enshrined the ban into law.

In the most recent lawsuit, filed on Monday, Kaspersky want to invalidate Sections 1634 (a) and (b) as “an unconstitutional bill of attainder.”

The software firm claim that the sections were adopted hastily by Congress “in the context of mounting animosity towards Russia and substantial political pressure on all branches of government to be seen as reacting to the apparent Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.”

The lawsuit also states that these sections of the NDAA are based on “vague and inflammatory allegations” and that they “singularly and unfairly” name and punish Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky has also cited the fact that rather than just banning its antivirus software, Congress has applied the broadest ban possible by legislating against everything that bears the company’s name. The company highlighted the fact that it has never been subject to any adverse judicial finding, adding, “Department of Homeland Security officials testifying before Congress have expressly stated that there is no conclusive evidence that Kaspersky Lab has ever facilitated a breach of government information systems. ”

After the initial DHS ban, Kaspersky say its U.S. retail sales fell 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to the same period the year before.

On Thursday, the judge overseeing the original DHS ban case delayed a motion until issues within the congressional lawsuit are resolved.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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