Kaspersky to file lawsuit over DHS ban

Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs announced today that it will be filing an appeal in U.S. federal court over the Department of Homeland Security’s binding operational directive to ban the use of all Kaspersky products within the federal government.

“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.

The decision to ban Kaspersky products was made after concerns arose over Kaspersky officials’ ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence services and over the potential for the Russian government to compel the company to assist in espionage campaigns.

Though Kaspersky offered to provide information and assistance to DHS in July 2017, the company’s next received communication from the agency was a notification of the binding operational directive, according to the Kaspersky press release.

The appeal was filed under the Administrative Procedure Act and asserts that “DHS’s 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,” according to the Kaspersky press release.

In the wake of DHS’s ban, retailers such as Office Depot and Best Buy made the decision to stop selling Kaspersky products, damaging the company’s commercial sales in addition to those in the public sector.

Kaspersky claims that “DHS’s actions have caused undue damage to both the company’s reputation in the IT security industry and its sales in the U.S.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to Reuters.

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