Kaspersky Lab loses the privilege of giving Twitter ad money

Twitter's loss is the EFF's gain

Twitter says it will no longer run ads from beleaguered security vendor Kaspersky Lab.

Claiming the company's alleged dealings with the Russian government violates its ad policies, the 280-character shoutfest site says Kaspersky's advertising money is no longer good, but it can still post regular (unpaid) Tweets.

"This decision is based on our determination that Kaspersky Lab operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices," a Twitter spokesperson told El Reg

"Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules."

While Twitter did not say specifically what Kaspersky did to run afoul of its policies, the site did note last year's DHS notice expressing fear Kaspersky was sharing information collected from its customers with Russian intelligence agencies. Kaspersky has denied the claim and no proof has been offered.

A spokesperson for Kaspersky said Twitter first told the company of its decision in January, but to this day has yet to fully explain what specifically Kaspersky did to violate its advertising rules.

"Kaspersky Lab considers this action – an advertising ban without any valid reasoning or evidence of misconduct– as being contradictory to Twitter’s principles for freedom of expression," Kaspersky Lab's statement reads.

"Therefore, the company is calling on Twitter to provide a more specific and detailed explanation of its decision."

In the meantime, Kaspersky says it will be making the best of the situation by converting its Twitter advertising budget to a charitable donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky has also issued an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey blasting the move and claiming the policy will put Twitter users at risk.

"The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users, including regular folks who want to read simple tips on how to protect themselves and their families against cyberthreats as well as infosecurity experts who are interested in the technical details of our latest research," Kaspersky writes.

"Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders us providing users, for example, with timely, potentially important information on protection from cyber-extortionists." ®

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