Biden Bans Allegedly Russian-Linked Cybersecurity Firm Ahead of Debate

( – The Biden administration has banned using Kaspersky cybersecurity products in the US. The Russian company is considered a national security threat by the administration, and the Department of Commerce, which announced the ban, said it is closely connected to the Moscow government. The measure will prohibit any new transactions that utilize Kaspersky products, and commentators suggest the White House timed the announcement to immediately precede President Biden’s upcoming debate with Donald Trump and allow the President to place national security at its center.

Kaspersky responded to the news on social media, saying it had provided security to billions of devices for decades, and the decision will benefit cybercriminals and make Americans less safe. The company also insisted it has repeatedly “demonstrated its independence from any government.”

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo maintains, however, that the company is tied to Moscow and capable of collecting American data and “weaponizing” it against the US. She was supported in her claims by the Senate Intelligence Committee chair, Democrat Senator Mark Warner. Mr. Warner said it is “crazy” to “give an adversarial nation the keys to our networks.”

The ban comes just in time for the first Presidential debate between Biden and Donald Trump in Atlanta. Moderated by Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, the Georgia event is historic and pits a sitting President against a former President for the first time in US history. It will also mark the first debate for both candidates, as neither was involved in their party’s primary events.

Preceding remarks suggest that Donald Trump will attack Biden on his record regarding immigration and foreign affairs. At a June rally in Wisconsin, Trump repeated his warning that World War III will break out if Biden remains in the White House. Biden is expected to focus on Trump’s many legal battles and label him a felon unworthy of the Oval Office. A Biden campaign ad described Mr. Trump as “a convicted criminal who is out for only himself.”

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