US lists Kaspersky, China telecom as security threat

US adds Kaspersky, China telecom to national security threat list Source: Kaspersky

The US has added a number of high profile companies to its national security threat list, including Kaspersky the popular anti-virus software company.

The announcement was made on March 25th by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who stated that the Russia based Kaspersky and the Chinese conglomerate China Telecomm had been added to its list of communications equipment and service providers deemed threats to the country’s national security.

Kaspersky and China Telecomm join Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp and others on the list, which was mandated under a 2019 law. Kaspersky is the first Russian company to be listed.

Announcing the additions to the list FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the new designations “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

The addition of Kaspersky to the list is no surprise with the US having warned for a long time that running the company’s software could result in maligned activity. Although Kaspersky has denied being a puppet of the Russian government, the war in Ukraine has added fuel to the rumours and assertions.

Responding to the FCC decision, Kaspersky said it was disappointed that a decision was “made on political grounds.” They added that the move was “unsubstantiated and is a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services.”

Although this does not directly affect consumers across the world, the message that is sent out by the FCC will be of concern to many especially those who make use of its free anti-virus progammes.

China Telecomm

Responding to the news that China Telecomm had been added to the list, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the FCC “abused state power and maliciously attacked Chinese telecom operators again without factual basis. The U.S. should immediately stop its unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies.

“China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

China Telecomm’s licence to operate in the US was revoked in October last year. At the time the FCC said: “China Telecomm is subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government.”

US authorisations were also revoked for China Unicom and Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet as they were for Hytera Communication, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology.

National security threat

Companies that are included on the list may not be contracted or used by companies and organisations that receive funding from the FCC, effectively removing their ability to provide telecommunication servicess for rural areas, low-income consumers, and facilities such as schools, libraries and hospitals.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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