Twitter Bans Kaspersky Labs Ads Over Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence

  • Twitter Bans Kaspersky Labs Ads Over Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence

Twitter Bans Kaspersky Labs Ads Over Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence

Twitter has banned ads on its service from Russian security software maker Kaspersky Lab, after the US government prohibited agencies from using its products because of alleged ties to the Russian government.

In December of 2017, President Donald Trump signed a law banning U.S. agencies from using Kaspersky Lab security software, which came several months after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a ban on the software for all federal agencies.

What do you think of Twitter's banning of Kaspersky Lab ads?

Kaspersky said in his blog post that he was surprised by Twitter's ban and asked the company to reconsider.

"We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them", Kaspersky wrote. Though I thought my company stood on the periphery of this social media storm, it turns out I was quite mistaken.

Twitter has banned Kaspersky Lab, an industry-leading cybersecurity company accused of having ties to the Russian government, from purchasing ads on the social media company's platform.

Department of Homeland Security cyber-security official Jeanette Manfra said her agency has not instructed USA companies to punish Kaspersky.

FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013.

Given that more than two months had passed since then, Eugene said he had chose to "publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban; fully explain the decision to switch off our advertising capability, and to reveal what other cyber security companies need to do in order to avoid similar situations".

Kaspersky Lab's founder, Yevgeny Kaspersky, revealed the move in an open letter published on his company's website on April 20.

"Kaspersky Lab considers this action - an advertising ban without any valid reasoning or evidence of misconduct- as being contradictory to Twitter's principles for freedom of expression", Kaspersky Lab's statement reads.

Facebook Inc in January said it had removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of anti-virus offerings to users.

While Twitter did not say specifically what Kaspersky did to run afoul of its policies, the site did note last year's DHS notice expressing fear Kaspersky was sharing information collected from its customers with Russian intelligence agencies.

Twitter also said it was responding to a Department of Homeland Security warning of a threat to national security posed by Russian government access to Kaspersky products.

In October a year ago, the social network accused Russian media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections and banned them from buying ads.

It is rare for Twitter to ban specific advertisers, although it has imposed restrictions on broad categories of advertising.