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Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab. Photo: Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Kaspersky Lab released a third-party research report Tuesday arguing that the U.S.' publicly announced logic behind a federal ban on Kaspersky's wares is based on a faulty understanding of Russian law.

The big picture: Kaspersky has been locking horns with the Department of Homeland Security and lawmakers after both independently banned Kaspersky software from government systems. The third-party report, written by Professor Kaj Hober of Uppsala University, Sweden, is part of a transparency offensive meant to counter the reputational hit.

Details: The public reasoning for the U.S. ban is that Russian law would allow Moscow to seize data from Kaspersky with no recourse or oversight.

  • That's a big deal for antivirus companies, because modern antivirus programs frequently upload suspicious files to the cloud for analysis. On federal systems, that may mean sensitive or classified files.
  • According to Hober, that argument doesn't hold water. Hober writes that Russia can only grab data from telecommunications firms, companies that distribute information or chat apps, and Kaspersky is none of those.

But, but, but: The public reasoning is not necessarily the only reasoning. Several media reports claim Russia has used Kaspersky software in a more hands-on approach to espionage — converting the feature that searches for malware into a feature searching for classified documents.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of Trump loyalist Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”