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Kaspersky Lab lawsuits against US thrown out

A judge ruled that the US government’s ban on Kaspersky software in federal agencies is constitutional.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / Getty Images

Two Kaspersky Lab lawsuits against the US government were dismissed Wednesday, killing off the Russian software company’s attempt to eliminate a ban on its products by US agencies. In September, Kaspersky’s products were banned from US government agencies over concerns the firm could be vulnerable to Russian government influence. Kaspersky then filed the suits, saying the bans were unconstitutional and caused the company undue harm.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that the ban is constitutional. It takes effect on October 1. “These defensive actions may very well have adverse consequences for some third-parties,” US District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her opinion. “But that does not make them unconstitutional.”

Kollar-Kotelly said the “theoretical harm” to Kaspersky’s reputation is “too vague and unsubstantiated,” and that the company’s claim that it has a “right to sell to the government” is “worthless.”

“To ‘sell’ requires another to ‘buy,'” she wrote. “Because no government agency would buy Plaintiffs’ product in the period before October 1, 2018, Plaintiffs’ theoretical ‘right’ to sell has no value at all in the real world.”

Kaspersky and the Department of Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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