US judge rejects Kaspersky suit against govt ban on its products

May 30, 2018
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, denies ties to the Russian government

A Washington judge on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit by Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab against the ban on use of its anti-virus software by government agencies.

Kaspersky had complained that the ban—announced after officials said Russian intelligence was able to hack the for espionage purposes—was in effect a "punishment" of the company without it having given it any kind of hearing.

Federal court judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected the argument, saying the US had the right to institute the ban to defend its computer security.

The ban "does not inflict 'punishment' on Kaspersky Lab," Kollar-Kotelly said in her ruling.

"It eliminates a perceived risk to the nation's cybersecurity and, in so doing, has the secondary effect of foreclosing one small source of revenue for a large multinational corporation," she said.

She also rejected the global cybersecurity giant's complaint that it had been illegally denied the "right" to sell a product that is legal, and that the ban harmed its reputation.

While the company can still market its products, she said, the government has no obligation to buy them.

In addition, she said, as the ban is legal and will remain in place, nothing can be done about any harm to its reputation.

The ban began with a directive in September 2017 from the Department of Homeland Security for to remove Kaspersky software from their computing systems.

That has since been followed by a provision set by Congress in a budget bill prohibiting agencies from using Kaspersky software.

Both came after the National Security Agency, the US signals intelligence body, determined that Kaspersky software on an NSA employee's private computer allowed hackers, believed to be from Russian intelligence, to steal top secret NSA materials.

US officials have also expressed concern about alleged ties between Kaspersky and the Russian government, which the company denies.

The impact on the company has been heavy. Most US companies have moved to stop using its software, and most major stores have stopped selling it.

While the private does not report its earnings, sales internationally have also reportedly been hurt.

Explore further: Kaspersky to transfer infrastructure out of Russia

Related Stories

Kaspersky to transfer infrastructure out of Russia

May 15, 2018

Russian anti-virus software firm Kaspersky Lab, which is suspected by US authorities of helping the Kremlin's espionage efforts, said Tuesday it was moving its core infrastructure and operations to Switzerland.

Confusion hits consumer market over US ban of Kaspersky

September 14, 2017

Worries rippled through the consumer market for antivirus software after the U.S. government banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky Labs software on Wednesday. Best Buy and Office Depot said they will no longer sell ...

Lithuania bans Kaspersky software over security fears

December 21, 2017

Lithuania will ban Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab's products from computers managing key energy, finance and transport systems due to security concerns, authorities said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Printing microelectrode array sensors on gummi candy

June 22, 2018

Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart. These applications require soft materials, however. With existing methods, attaching electrodes to such materials poses significant ...

EU copyright law passes key hurdle

June 20, 2018

A highly disputed European copyright law that could force online platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay for links to news content passed a key hurdle in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.