Eugene Kaspersky has angrily frozen his cooperation with Europol after MEPs approved a resolution calling for an EU ban of Kaspersky's wares.
The European Parliament this week overwhelmingly voted in favour of a cyber-defence resolution designed to protect EU citizens against the growing spectre of state-sponsored attacks. It specifically mentioned the threat from Russia, China and North Korea.
The report, penned by Estonian MEP Urmas Paet, contained a reference to banning "malicious" software "such as Kaspersky Lab".
The move comes less than a month after Kaspersky announced it was moving a "good part" of its infrastructure out of Russia to Switzerland in an effort to repair the damage caused by its tussle with the US government. All US government agencies were ordered to remove Kaspersky software last year over fears of possible links between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence, which Kaspersky has always denied, while the UK government has also warned that agencies here should not use Kaspersky products if they are processing "secret" data.
Kaspersky founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky reacted angrily to the news on Twitter, saying he would cease public-private partnerships such as Europol until the European Parliament withdraws its decision.
We have protected the EU for 20 years working with law enforcement leading to multiple arrests of CYBERCRIMINALS. Based upon today's decision from the EU Parliament, we are forced to freeze our cooperation with orgs including @Europol & #NoMoreRansom pic.twitter.com/7dSGn9Bycw— Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) June 13, 2018
The relevant paragraph in the security report claims in almost in passing that Kaspersky has "been confirmed as malicious".
It "calls on the EU to perform a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions in order to exclude potentially dangerous programmes and devices, and to ban the ones that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab".
It was passed by 476 to 151 votes.
In further comment sent to Channelnomics Europe, Eugene Kaspersky said:
"This decision from the European Parliament welcomes cybercrime in Europe. I do not wish to do anything to further encourage the balkanisation of the internet, but I feel that the decision taken in Europe leaves me with no choice but to take definitive action. Kaspersky Lab has only ever tried to rid the world of cybercrime. We have showed time and again that we disclose cyber threats regardless of origin and author, even to our own detriment. This is a setback for the fight against cyber threat, but we remain undeterred in our mission - to save the world from Cybercrime."
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