A draft of the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018" — which approves the budget and policies for US defensive projects — outlines a ban on the usage of Kaspersky Lab software products at DOD facilities under the explanation that the Russian antivirus vendor "might be vulnerable to Russian government influence."
"[The Committee] prohibits the DOD from using software platforms developed by Kaspersky Lab due to reports that the Moscow-based company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence," the proposed bill reads [page 12], first spotted by Reuters last night.
This bill draft comes on the heels of news that FBI agents have interviewed a dozen of Kaspersky employees working at the company's US offices. According to NBC News, on Tuesday, after work hours, FBI agents visited employees' homes and grilled them on the company’s operations.
Back in May, US intelligence officials told a Congressional committee they were reviewing Kaspersky Lab and its software, also citing possible "Russian government influence."
Back then, Kaspersky denied any rumors of spying for the Russian government and even offered to provide access for government officials to review its software's source code. The company's CEO has also offered to testify before Congress if ever be the need.
US weariness towards Kaspersky Lab, the company, are based on the fact that Eugene Kaspersky, its founder and CEO, was trained by the KGB and worked as a Soviet intelligence officer in the Red Army, a period which he many times declined to talk about.
This is not the first time Kaspersky Lab has bene accused of secret ties to the Russian government. Eugene Kaspersky has been answering these accusations for the past two decades, and has more recently in a New York Times article.
Many would say the US is answering Russia with the same medal after the Kremlin government has banned LinkedIn last fall and is now forcing tech companies, mostly US-based, to submit the source code of their products for review before being allowed to do business in the country.
Many industry experts believe that this is a simple political game that's wasting everyone's time.