The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has classified Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky as an unacceptable risk to US national security, adding it to the Covered List— a list of communications equipment and services you want to keep an eye on.
The decision to add Kaspersky to the list was not an easy one. It was made in accordance with the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 and even includes related companies such as affiliates or subsidiaries that could also pose a threat.
At the moment, Kaspersky is associated with corporate giants like IBM and Intel, and even has several projects in the works with Microsoft. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr observes in a FCC news announcement (PDF Notice), that Kaspersky and others are now prohibited from receiving support through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund.
In response to the decision, Kaspersky sent a statement to computer beeping which expresses that the company is “disappointed with the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to prohibit certain federal telecommunications-related subsidies from being used to purchase Kaspersky products and services”.
It maintains that “the US government’s 2017 bans on federal entities and federal contractors from using Kaspersky’s products and services were unconstitutional, based on unsubstantiated allegations, and lacking any public evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the company.”
Huawei Technologies has been on the US Coverage List since March 2021 along with ZTE Corporation and a few other China-based companies. With this latest update, both China Mobile International USA Inc. and China Telecom (Americas) Corp. also made the list, along with Kaspersky.
We hope the security issues will be resolved soon, but with tensions between Russia and the rest of the world running high right now, it’s hard to see a quick fix on the horizon.