The United States Federal Communications Commission has included Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab on its list of entities that pose an “unacceptable risk to US national security,” according to a report from Bloomberg. This is the first time a Russian business has actually been added to the list, which is otherwise made up of Chinese business, like Huawei and ZTE.
Companies in the United States are barred from utilizing federal aids supplied through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to buy any items or services from the companies on the list. In addition to Kaspersky, the FCC likewise added China Telecom and China Mobile International USA to its list on Friday.
“I am pleased that our national security agencies agreed with my assessment that China Mobile and China Telecom appeared to meet the threshold necessary to add these entities to our list,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release. “Their addition, as well as Kaspersky Labs, will help secure our networks from threats posed by Chinese and Russian state backed entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests.”
Kaspersky reacted to the FCC’s move in a news release on its site, stating the company’s choice was “made on political grounds” due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that the company “remains ready to cooperate with US government agencies to address the FCC’s and any other regulatory agency’s concerns.”
In 2017, Russian intelligence used Kaspersky’s anti-virus software application to steal classified files from the National Security Agency — a claim rejected by the Moscow-based business. Later that year, Former President Donald Trump signed a bill prohibiting the use of Kaspersky products by federal firms after accusing the business of having ties to the Kremlin.