The European Commission has confirmed that it is not in possession of any evidence that could indicate that Kaspersky Lab products pose any national security risks to member states, almost a year after the EU parliament voted in favour of banning Kaspersky Lab products.
In June last year, the European Parliament passed a resolution in which it named Kaspersky Lab's products and programmes as "malicious" and called for a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions "in order to exclude potentially dangerous programmes and devices".
Disappointed with the EU's verdict about its products, Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky publicly stated that "it was frustrating that there was no investigation, no evidence of any wrongdoing from our side, just references to false allegations from anonymous sources. This is the essence of media-ocracy: fake news → political decisions.
"The risks of using our software are purely hypothetical. Just as hypothetical as with any other cybersecurity software of any country. But the risk of becoming a victim of a genuine cyberattack is real – and extremely high. Ergo: EP's political decision plays *for* cybercrime.
"We have protected the EU for 20 years working with law enforcement leading to multiple arrests of cybercriminals. Based upon today's decision from the EU Parliament, we are forced to freeze our cooperation with orgs including @Europol & #NoMoreRansom," he added.
Kaspersky Lab products not malicious, says European Commission
Eugene's doubts were confirmed recently when the European Commission admitted that there is no evidence to support the allegation that Kaspersky Lab products and services pose national security risks to member countries.
"The Commission is not in possession of any evidence regarding potential issues related to the use of Kaspersky Lab products. The Commission is following closely debates and developments concerning the security of IT products and devices in general, including discussions about potential measures related to access to the EU market.
"The EU is an open market, which can be accessed by foreign companies in compliance with EU rules. In addition, Member States have the competence to decide whether to exclude companies from their markets for national security reasons," it said, adding that it did not commission any reports to enquire about potential issues related to the use of Kaspersky Lab products.
The EU's statement was in response to a question asked by Belgian MEP Gerolf Annemans who asked if the Commission knew of any reason other than certain press articles that justified the labelling of Kaspersky as ‘dangerous’ or ‘malicious,” especially since Member States such as Germany, France and Belgium did not perceive any problems with cooperation with the firm concerned.
Unlike in the EU where the company's reputation has been reinstated, Kaspersky Lab is struggling to get the government's ban on the use of its products by government agencies revoked.
In December last year, The U.S. government's decision to ban the use of Kaspersky Lab products received a major boost recently after a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. upheld the ban in a case filed by the company in which it contended that the ban was unconstitutional.