In an effort to eliminate any suspicions that Kaspersky Lab may have ties to Russia's Kremlin, the company's CEO has announced that he is willing to allow US government officials to examine its source code.
Eugene Kaspersky revealed his decision during an interview with The Associated Press over the weekend at the company's Moscow headquarters in which he said:
“If the United States needs, we can disclose the source code. Anything I can do to prove that we don't behave maliciously I will do it.”
Over the years a number of Kaspersky's competitors and critics have raised concerns over the fact that its CEO attended a KGB-sponsored school and previously worked for Russia's Ministry of Defence. They believe that Mr. Kaspersky may have maintained some his connections from those times and that the company is not able to fully operate independently in Russia.
Senior US intelligence officials have even gone so far as to suggest that the US Congress avoid using Kaspersky's anti-virus products due to security concerns.
Lawmakers are also currently considering a proposal to ban the company's software from use in the Pentagon and on Wednesday Kaspersky employees in the US were visited by agents from the FBI.
Mr. Kaspersky acknowledged that the company could now no longer work alongside the FBI, saying:
“Unfortunately, now the links to the FBI are completely ruined. It means that if some serious crime happens that needs Russian law enforcement to cooperate with FBI, unfortunately it's not possible.”
Whether or not Mr. Kaspersky decides to follow through with his decision to provide the company's source code remains to be seen but the move could help persuade US officials to halt any upcoming bans on its products.
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