The Dutch government continues to ban Kaspersky’s antivirus software despite a lack of evidence for alleged sabotage and espionage.
In 2018, Kaspersky was investigated on behalf of the former administration of the Netherlands. The government feared that Kaspersky was complicit in espionage and sabotage. The antivirus software was said to be too risky to permit among government agencies. Ever since, the software has been banned from use among government agencies.
The administration ruled on the basis of an investigation report. The investigation report was classified. No examples of Kaspersky’s alleged abuse came to light. Hence, Kaspersky refused to resign itself to the verdict.
The organization appealed to the Freedom of Information Act, which may also be known as the Government Information Act, depending on your location. The appeal can force the Dutch government to disclose classified documents. In January 2022, the Council of State ruled in favour of Kaspersky. Today, four years after the ban, the report was publicized.
There’s good reason for Kaspersky’s frustration. The report acknowledges that no evidence of espionage or sabotage was found. The researchers could not rule out whether Kaspersky poses national security threat to The Netherlands.
The report states that Kaspersky is “probably” forced to cooperate with the Russian government, adding that Kaspersky is “probably” infiltrated by another government. No one knows for sure, but a small chance appears to be enough to ban a software product in the Netherlands. Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, the current Minister of Justice and Security, emphasizes that the antivirus software remains banned.