The US is pressuring foreign cybertech companies to double down on privacy measures with little accountability of its own. Kaspersky has been at the center of a cyber cold war and the victim of a global defamation campaign after its software was deemed malicious based on no concrete evidence. One year later, the European Commission admits it is not in possession of any evidence related to the use of Kaspersky products.
The global conversation on privacy has been hijacked by a geopolitical battle between the US and foreign cybertech firms such as Russia's Kaspersky and China's Huawei. What may appear to be a demand for accountability has transformed into a modern cold war, ravaging the reputation and revenues of America's top cyber competitors.
An international smear campaign escalates into a cyber cold war
Over the last two years, a mounting negative campaign has been orchestrated in a cleverly packaged anti-Kaspersky narrative, accusing the company of spying for the Russian government and deeming their anti-virus software as "malicious" in June 2018.
These buzzwords were circulated by countries across the EU including France, UK, Denmark and Germany. The damaging declaration however appears to be baseless.
In November 2018, the German Bundestag has reported that, "there is no evidence that demonstrates any manipulation of Kaspersky software".
It has been estimated that the accusations against Kaspersky are lacking evidence and illegitimate political motivations are fueling the campaign against the company.
On the 12th of April in their response to a question submitted by Annemans, a Belgium MP, regarding the reason behind the EU's resolution to label Kaspersky as 'dangerous' and 'malicious', the European Commission revealed that there is in fact no intelligence nor any evidence behind the EU Parliament's vote back in June 2018 that recommends banning the usage of Kaspersky's products.
The US was also unable to provide enough proof to insert Kaspersky into the Commerce Department's "Entity List" of risky products which would ban the use of Kaspersky in the private sector.
The political stigmatization and scapegoating of foreign tech companies
Stigmatization of Kaspersky products still runs rampant as a cold war-esque alliance re-emerges, calling for the ban of Kaspersky and its removal from private usage.
The evil spy for Russia trope is simply being over-used in what seems to be a recycled script from a Soviet vs. America movie. Kaspersky is simply being scapegoated in a political battle meant to quash America's top competitor in an unfair advantage.
The US is excelling at leveraging its international prowess like a high school clique spreading an ugly rumor against a threat that may prevent its rise to international dominance.
Democrats are also active participants in the anti-Russia narrative. Washington eagerly re-tweets #collusion accusations as a retaliatory measure against the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
international sanctioning campaign arrives in Germany
The controversial arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhour in Canada has set the tone for foreign tech companies looking to do business in the US-play by the rules or suffer the consequences. However, the evidence against Huawei remains frivolous at best.