Kaspersky Could Allow Russian Spying, U.S. Tells Court

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

• U.S. properly barred use of Kaspersky software, court filing says

• Russia could use Kaspersky software as entry point for espionage, U.S. says

The Department of Homeland Security properly barred use of Kaspersky Lab Inc.’s software by federal agencies because Russia could use it as entry point for espionage, the government told a district court.

The department relied upon substantial evidence showing a threat from Kaspersky’s close relationship with Russian intelligence services, which are willing and able to compromise and exploit access to U.S. networks, the government said.

The department’s directive didn’t violate due process because Kaspersky had an adequate opportunity to review and argue against reasons for the directive, the government asserted.

Barred From Contracting

The directive, which constituted a debarment from federal contracting, violated Kaspersky’s Fifth Amendment rights to due process because it didn’t give the contractor proper notice of the action, the company said Jan. 17.

Kaspersky lacks standing to challenge the directive in court because Congress has effectively codified the prohibition of Kaspersky software use in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, and rescinding the directive won’t help Kaspersky, the government said.

Kaspersky also has no valid due process claim because the company received notice of the department’s action and an opportunity to provide relevant information in opposition of that action, the government said.

No directive to remove Kaspersky software took effect until the department’s acting secretary reached a final decision based on evidence provided from federal agencies, the government said.

The case is Kaspersky Lab Inc. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security , D.D.C., No. 17-cv-02697, opposition to motion for preliminary injunction filed 2/5/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Seiden in Washington, D.C. at dseiden@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at phendrie@bgov.com