It's 'nyet' again, yet again, for Kaspersky: Appeal against US govt ban snubbed by Washington DC court

Appeals judges shoot down Russian vendor's plea


Kaspersky Lab won't be getting its day in court after all, as the Washington DC Court of Appeals rejected its case against Uncle Sam.

On Friday, the appeals court panel upheld an earlier district court ruling that Kaspersky could not bring a lawsuit against the US government in hopes of overturning the 2017 order that blocked American government agencies from using its antivirus software.

The decision [PDF] all but ends Kaspersky's hopes of getting the ban on its products lifted and allowing federal agencies to once again purchase its antimalware and security offerings.

In striking down the motion, the three-judge panel agreed with the lower court's decision that Congress has the right to block the purchase of a specific vendor's software if it has legitimate security concerns. This is a key point, as Kaspersky has contended the move was a form of extrajudicial punishment rather than a safety measure.

"Indeed, although Kaspersky argues that Congress enacted section 1634 to further that body’s undisclosed punitive intentions, the company does not dispute, as a general matter, that protecting federal computers from cyber-threats qualifies as a legitimate nonpunitive purpose," the court noted.

The judges go on to dismiss Kaspersky's argument that it was being unfairly singled out as a possible security risk by the government, noting the company's close relationship with a Russian government known to be actively attacking US networks and siphoning off top-secret information.

NSA

NSA dev in the clink for 5.5 years after letting Kaspersky, allegedly Russia slurp US exploits

READ MORE

"Kaspersky identifies no cyber-product as vulnerable to malicious exploitation as Kaspersky’s," the court found.

"And although the company accurately points out that many cyber-companies operate in Russia, we conclude that Congress, based on the evidence before it, could have reasonably determined that Kaspersky’s Russian ties differ in degree and kind from these other companies’."

Kaspersky, meanwhile, said that it was disappointed with the ruling and maintained the security shop was "still the good guys fighting cybercrime all over the world."

"The DC Circuit Court’s decision is disappointing, but the events of the past year that culminated in this decision were almost expected, and not just by our company, but by the cybersecurity industry in general," wrote co-founder, CEO, and company namesake Eugene Kaspersky.

"We're sure that the issues involved in our litigation go far beyond technical aspects of US constitutional law; they include real-world problems concerning everyone: a progression of protectionism and balkanization in a world of understated cyber-rivalry and highly sophisticated international cyber-threats." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Heart FM's borkfast show – a fine way to start your day

    Jamie and Amanda have a new co-presenter to contend with

    There can be few things worse than Microsoft Windows elbowing itself into a presenting partnership, as seen in this digital signage for the Heart breakfast show.

    For those unfamiliar with the station, Heart is a UK national broadcaster with Global as its parent. It currently consists of a dozen or so regional stations with a number of shows broadcast nationally. Including a perky breakfast show featuring former Live and Kicking presenter Jamie Theakston and Britain's Got Talent judge, Amanda Holden.

    Continue reading
  • Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics

    Information wants to be free, and it's making its escape

    Opinion Forget the Singularity. That modern myth where AI learns to improve itself in an exponential feedback loop towards evil godhood ain't gonna happen. Spacetime itself sets hard limits on how fast information can be gathered and processed, no matter how clever you are.

    What we should expect in its place is the robot panopticon, a relatively dumb system with near-divine powers of perception. That's something the same laws of physics that prevent the Godbot practically guarantee. The latest foreshadowing of mankind's fate? The Ethernet cable.

    By itself, last week's story of a researcher picking up and decoding the unintended wireless emissions of an Ethernet cable is mildly interesting. It was the most labby of lab-based demos, with every possible tweak applied to maximise the chances of it working. It's not even as if it's a new discovery. The effect and its security implications have been known since the Second World War, when Bell Labs demonstrated to the US Army that a wired teleprinter encoder called SIGTOT was vulnerable. It could be monitored at a distance and the unencrypted messages extracted by the radio pulses it gave off in operation.

    Continue reading
  • What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls

    Say what you mean

    NSFW Who, Me? Ever written that angry email and accidentally hit send instead of delete? Take a trip back to the 1990s equivalent with a slightly NSFW Who, Me?

    Our story, from "Matt", flings us back the best part of 30 years to an era when mobile telephones were the preserve of the young, upwardly mobile professionals and fixed lines ruled the roost for more than just your senior relatives.

    Back then, Matt was working for a UK-based fixed-line telephone operator. He was dealing with a telephone exchange which served a relatively large town. "I ran a reasonably ordinary, read-only command to interrogate a specific setting," he told us.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021