US bans Russian cyber security company Kaspersky, firm calls move political

Washington: The US has put Russian cyber-security firm Kaspersky Labs to the list of entities that pose an “unacceptable risk to US national security”.

This is the first time a Russian company has been added to the list, which consists of Chinese tech giants like Huawei and ZTE.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has added Kaspersky to its Covered List, which identifies entities that pose an unacceptable risk to the country’s national security.

Specifically, the Commission added three new entities to the list: China Mobile International USA, China Telecom (Americas) and Kaspersky Labs.

“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 Office of 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,” he added.

Kaspersky said it was disappointed with the FCC decision to prohibit certain telecommunications-related federal subsidies from being used to purchase Kaspersky products and services.

“This decision is not based on any technical assessment of Kaspersky products – that the company continuously advocates for a” but instead is being made on political grounds,” the Russian firm said in a statement late on Saturday.

Entities that are on the FCC list are prohibited from receiving support through the agency’s Universal Service Fund.

“The FCC’s decision to add these three entities is supported by recommendations from Executive Branch agencies with responsibility for US national security,” it added.

Kaspersky said it will continue to assure its partners and customers on the quality and integrity of its products, and remains ready to cooperate with US government agencies to address the FCC’s and any other regulatory agency’s concerns.

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