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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

U.K. PM orders inquiry into Muslim lawmaker's discrimination claim

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, England, last week. Photo: Ian Vogler/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a Cabinet Office inquiry into allegations from a Member of Parliament in his ruling Conservative Party that she was fired from a ministerial job due to her Muslim faith, per the BBC.

Driving the news: Nusrat Ghani told the Sunday Times she was informed by a party whip that she was fired from her position as a junior transport minister in February 2020 after her "Muslimness was raised as an issue" and that it made her colleagues feel "uncomfortable."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.