U.S. Permanently Bans Russia’s Kaspersky Lab from Government Contracts

The United States Federal Acquisition Regulation Council (FAR) has finalized a rule prohibiting government agencies from using Kaspersky Lab’s products, Vedomosti writes. The rule took effect on September 10, when a temporary ban introduced on October 1, 2018, has become permanent.

The Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider began to face troubles in the U.S. in 2017, when the Department of Homeland Security had become suspicious that the company cooperated with Russian intelligence services and barred government bodies from using Kaspersky’s tools.

The restriction was described as temporary but now a permanent ban on Kaspersky Lab’s products has been imposed, says Alexander Pakhomov, managing partner at Law and Business firm, adding that the prohibition would remain in place until the FAR Council lifted it.

Kaspersky Lab tried to fight the temporary ban through an appeal but in May 2018, a DC court rejected both of the company’s lawsuits. What’s more, this decision was upheld by a court of appeal. Furthermore, Pakhomov pointed out that there are no judicial precedents of removing restrictions that the U.S. imposed for political and national security reasons.

The company does not intend to contest the ban on cooperation with U.S. government agencies, Public Affairs Vice President for Kaspersky Lab Anton Shingarev said. This prohibition is purely politically motivated and it is pointless going to court to file appeals against it, he explained. The decision will be revoked once the political situation changes, Shingarev emphasized.

In 2018, Kaspersky Lab’s sales in North America saw a 25-percent decline, which the company attributed to the complicated geopolitical situation. However, Kaspersky continues its activities on the American market, which it still considers to be the most important one, Shingarev pointed out.