10 April 2024

US govt set to block Russian-made software over national security concerns


US govt set to block Russian-made software over national security concerns

The US authorities are poised to issue an order preventing American individuals and companies from utilizing software produced by a major Russian cybersecurity firm.

Citing five officials within the US government familiar with the matter, CNN reported that the action targets Kaspersky Lab and could be set in motion as soon as this month.

The forthcoming order, which is currently being finalized, will leverage the Commerce Department's recently expanded authorities under executive orders signed by both President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump. Its primary objective is to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from offering specific products and services within the United States, citing potential risks to national security.

While US government agencies are already prohibited from employing Kaspersky Lab software, extending this prohibition to private entities would mark an unprecedented step. Although the decision has yet to be formally announced, sources say that nothing is definitive until it is officially declared. However, the Commerce Department has reportedly made an “initial determination” to restrict certain transactions involving the Russian company and US citizens, according to the sources.

The proposed order aims to mitigate any perceived threats posed to critical US infrastructure. While the full extent of the order remains undisclosed, it is anticipated to primarily target the firm's antivirus software, which is widely used by individuals and organizations globally.

Last year, a draft of the initial determination to prohibit certain Kaspersky software circulated, focusing on US persons. However, the specifics of any final order are yet to be disclosed. Despite declining to outline the complete scope of the action against Kaspersky products, sources familiar with the policy process emphasize its potential impact on safeguarding national interests.

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