"The Department's priority is to ensure the integrity and security of federal information systems".
That comes from a pointed statement which alleges that, while Kaspersky may not itself be guilty, the Russian Federation may, nevertheless, have access to sensitive files that originate either within USA intelligence or United States governmental databases.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that Kaspersky Lab products threatened the country's national security and urged US government agencies to abandon its products. Within 60 days, they must develop plans to remove that software. The FBI has also been investigating whether Kaspersky software products provide backdoors allowing Russian intelligence to access computers running the software, a claim that the company denies.
Last July, the Trump administration already removed Kaspersky from the list of approved state agencies' software vendors, citing concerns Russian authorities could infiltrate usa government networks using Kaspersky's anti-virus products.
In a statement this week in response to the federal order, Kaspersky Lab said that it "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it's disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues".
Electronics retailer Best Buy has removed Kaspersky products from its shelves, although it declined to explain why.
Concerns about Kaspersky, a leading global seller of anti-virus software, have been circulating for some time. Staples, another seller of the software, didn't return a message seeking comment.
But two months ago, the news website Bloomberg reported it had seen emails between chief executive Eugene Kaspersky and senior Kaspersky staff, outlining a secret cyber-security project apparently requested by the Russian intelligence service FSB. His critics say it's unlikely that his company could operate independently in Russian Federation, where the economy is dominated by state-owned companies and the power of spy agencies has expanded dramatically under President Vladimir Putin.
Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has previously scrutinized the federal government's use of Kaspersky anti-virus software.
"While our intelligence agencies may not use Kaspersky software, other federal agencies do", Klobuchar wrote.
Restrictions of the U.S. authorities on the Russian anti-virus company were commented in Moscow by various government levels.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H, has been pushing to prohibit the federal government from using the firm's products. She called the company's ties with the Kremlin "alarming".
The software has also already been banned from the Department of Defense, and Sen.