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The FCC Has Officially Banned Its First Russian Company, Kaspersky

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Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky has now officially been banned via addition to the FCC’s “Cover List,” effectively marking it out as a national security list. At least in the eyes of the FCC, according to recent reports on the matter.

The move follows a less official order from 2017, signed by President Donald Trump, banning the federal government from using Kaspersky software. It makes the ban more official. Now, US companies can no longer use FCC Universal Service Fund to purchase products or services from Kaspersky. The Russian company is most widely known for security solutions related to technology. Including its malware security suite as well as VPN services, cloud protection, data privacy services, and more.

Why has the FCC banned Kaspersky?

According to the FCC, it established this ban to help secure US interests against potential state-backed entities. Specifically, against espionage and other threats. The FCC adds companies and other entities to the Cover List in a bid to prevent those activities and potential threats. Namely, by preventing their use by government agencies as well as US companies responsible for telecom deployments and related services.

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To that end, two other companies also made it to the list with the most recent official expansion. Those were China Telecom and China Mobile. Both of those companies, like other list occupants such as Huawei, were already under significant restrictions in the US. In fact, Kaspersky marks the first occasion that a non-Chinese company made it to the Cover List.

Kaspersky labels the blacklisting “political”

The company says that the FCC made this decision on “political” grounds. Kaspersky says that there was no technical assessment of its products. Moreover, it welcomes and “advocates” for the FCC to perform assessments. We don’t know if the FCC responded to this yet.

In the interim, Kaspersky says it is ready to work with the FCC and other related agencies in the US to address potential concerns.

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