Biden Bans Kaspersky Ahead of Trump Debate Over Security Concerns

( – On June 20, the Biden administration announced a ban on cybersecurity products made by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, Inc.. The company may not provide services to U.S. companies or citizens due to national security concerns.

The move comes just one week before the first presidential debate, set for June 27, between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

Enacted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the ban addresses concerns about potential security vulnerabilities with Kaspersky’s cybersecurity products, which could pose a security risk because of the company’s alleged ties to the Russian government.

U.S. companies and citizens are banned from engaging in any new transactions involving Kaspersky’s cybersecurity products as of July 20, with further restrictions prohibiting Kaspersky’s operations with U.S. citizens and within the United States set to take effect by Sept. 29. This will allow U.S. companies and citizens that use Kaspersky products for cybersecurity to find alternative solutions.

The ban prohibits Kaspersky’s cybersecurity and anti-virus software from being integrated, licensed, and resold. While the new ban allows software the company previously installed to continue to be used and updates to be downloaded, the ban will eventually prohibit downloading updates.

The ban does not affect U.S. government agencies, which were already barred from using Kaspersky Lab software.

According to Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo, “an extremely thorough investigation” shows that Russia could potentially exploit Kaspersky “to collect and weaponize sensitive U.S. information.” Raimondo added that the new ban “shows our adversaries” that the U.S. “will not hesitate to act when their technology poses” a national security risk to the United States.

On June 21, sanctions were imposed on 12 leaders of the firm by the U.S. Treasury “for operating in the technology sector of the Russian Federation economy.” However, sanctions were not imposed by the Treasury on the company itself or “its parent or subsidiary companies, or its CEO.”

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