back to article Roses are red, Kaspersky is blue: 'That ban's unconstitutional!' Boo hoo hoo

Kaspersky Lab, the antivirus house, now claims that the US government's ban on its products amounts to punishment without trial. In court filings made late last year Kaspersky said it was intending to use the US Administrative Procedure Act to get the ban declared unconstitutional. Now, according to local reports, the Russian …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Good Luck

    Good luck with that. The government will trot out the usual "National Security" line and that'll be the end of it.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Good Luck

      "Good luck with that. The government will trot out the usual "National Security" line and that'll be the end of it."

      You don't think they'll trot out the usual "an AV package is not a person" argument instead? A bill of attainder only applies to people.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Good Luck

        A bill of attainder only applies to people.

        Corporations based on both supreme and Congress decisions have acquired people rights. If Евгений manages to create a precedent to the contrary we should all open a bottle of bubbly. About time too.

        1. ST Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Good Luck

          > Corporations based on both supreme and Congress decisions have acquired people rights

          No they haven't. Some idiot politicians state that corporations are people - mainly during campaigneering. Just because they say so it doesn't make it a fact.

          1. georgezilla

            Re: Good Luck

            Then please explain to us just what Citizens United means.

          2. Tomato42 Silver badge

            Re: Good Luck

            @ST: corporations are people de jure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Good Luck

              Just because they've said corporations have first amendment rights doesn't mean everything that applies to a person can apply to them. How do convict a company rather than its leadership in a criminal trial, and how do you jail it?

          3. sloshnmosh

            Re: Good Luck

            "No they haven't. Some idiot politicians state that corporations are people - mainly during campaigneering. Just because they say so it doesn't make it a fact."

            http://www.amendmentgazette.com/how-spending-money-became-a-form-of-speech/

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Good Luck

      "The government will trot out the usual "National Security" line"

      counting on it.

      consider this: a foreign company sues your government over NOT buying its product

      that pretty much sums it up.

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Good Luck

        > ""The government will trot out the usual "National Security" line"

        counting on it.

        consider this: a foreign company sues your government over NOT buying its product

        that pretty much sums it up."

        Given that one of the aspects of the TPP that US businesses were pushing for was the ability to sue governments for instituting laws which unduly affected their profit margin, then I say more power to Kapersky for using the same tactic the US was pushing for, against the US.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Good Luck

      How exactly does "the usual National Security line" allow them to ignore the constitution?

      I mean, I get how it might be used to justify withholding evidence, but that's not the issue in this case. A bill of attainder is just flat-out unconstitutional, no matter how much evidence there is behind it.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Good Luck

        How exactly does "the usual National Security line" allow them to ignore the constitution?
        Good question. I don't know how, but increasing evidence shows that it does.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    I think a lot of people thought McCarthyism was dead, but that just doesn't seem the case. Does it?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Agreed. Hysterical xenophobia seems to be a defining trait of the US.

      I was going to call you a Pinko Leftist Commie Bastard, but then I thought "Wolfe Tone? you can't call him communist!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        When you run out of enemies

        When you run out of enemies you need to create them. Reading the history of Stalin's ussr - it is scary how it repeats itself. Even speeches are nearly verbatim repeats.

        Who is not with us is against us. - Stalin's or Shrub's? Answer- both.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      I'm continually surprised at the number of people who dismiss the possibility that Russia is interfering in US elections, hacking emails, etc. Russia is basically run by gangsters but somehow a lot of people seem to think they are squeaky clean!

      1. veti Silver badge

        @DougS, there are undoubtedly a lot of scum in Russia. Like the one whose email I was scrutinising just half an hour ago, in the vain hopes of finding someone I could plausibly report it to, trying to extract bitcoin from me. Since they claimed to be Ukrainian, I'm assuming they were at least patriotic Russians and quite possibly employed, indirectly, by the thug-in-chief himself.

        But that doesn't mean every allegation against Russians should be considered "true". Particularly when the allegation takes the form of a law that would still be unconstitutional even if the claims were all 100% proven.

        There are ways of dealing with rogue companies, but "passing a law against doing business with that particular company" is not a legitimate one.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        "I'm continually surprised at the number of people who dismiss the possibility that Russia is interfering in US elections, hacking emails, etc. Russia is basically run by gangsters but somehow a lot of people seem to think they are squeaky clean!"

        Well the first part is easy, as in the US election "interference". Twitter came out with the numbers, along with Facebook, and the number of "Russian" created bots were somewhere in the region of 0.5% of the total tweets/posts sent regarding the election during the election campaign. The effect was tiny, if there was any effect at all.

        Also, we've had the release of the memo's that point to the Obama administration getting FISA warrants based on discredited information from that Steel chap. You know, the guy who came out saying Trump paid prostitutes to piss on a bed slept in by Obama? That story came from 4Chan, and Mr.Steel himself was paid to investigate these claims by the DNC. It's been said that the FISA warrants wouldn't have been issued if his evidence hadn't been given during the FISA hearings.

        The hacking of the DNC emails, the Podesta emails, came from Podesta getting an email looking like it was from Google asking him to change his password. He forwarded it to his IT guy, who said it was "legitimate" - when in fact he meant to say "illegitimate". So the sophisticated email hacking Russia did was nothing more than what everyone gets these days - the equivalent of throwing shit at a wall and seeing what sticks. But the NSA, as well, have come out and said the download of internal DNC emails was localised, meaning someone inside the DNC leaked the emails. The transmission rates just wouldn't have been possible to get from a remote server.

        Yeah, Russia is ran by gangsters. But you'd be a complete fool to believe America isn't being run by equally as bad - and inept in cases - gangsters.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Oh looky here, we have another one who gets all their news from only Trump approved sources.

          Sorry, the FBI probe was started BEFORE the Steele dossier came out. That's been proven in open congressional testimony, not that Fox News is going to tell their viewers that because it conflicts with the storyline lie that the right wing is trying to spread that blames everything on Steele.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            "Oh looky here, we have another one who gets all their news from only Trump approved sources."

            Trump only likes Fox News. I've never, ever, listened to or seen Fox. What I've read has come from all over the place. Interviews on CNN, articles from The Guardian for example.

            "Sorry, the FBI probe was started BEFORE the Steele dossier came out. That's been proven in open congressional testimony, not that Fox News is going to tell their viewers that because it conflicts with the storyline lie that the right wing is trying to spread that blames everything on Steele."

            I never said the FBI probe was started after the Steele dossier came out. I said that the dossier helped the FBI with their FISA application. Those are two very different things.

            But don't let your own bigotry get in the way of understanding plain English.

  3. fluffybunnyuk

    sorry didnt read . just got annoyed at the umpteenth roses are red thing and had to post about a lack of imagination.

    After the first 1500 times of heading a news story with it, its not funny any more.

    *rant over*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      annoyed at the umpteenth roses are red thing

      Lighten up a bit, fu-christ-sake, it's one day a year.

      Jeez, some people have no sense of humour.

      1. fluffybunnyuk

        Re: annoyed at the umpteenth roses are red thing

        roses are red ,violets are blue, apparently i'm annoyed, and now so are you...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: annoyed at the umpteenth roses are red thing

          Roses are red, violets are blue, cheer up or get laid - it's what bunnies do!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      more lol

      Kaspersky is Red, USA is Blue, NSA gave Norks Eternal Blue.

      MacAfee sees green, as they slip in, just like they planned to do.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They can be funny you know.

      Roses are red

      Violets are blue

      Pr0n hub is down

      Your mum’s facebook will do.

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Flame

      Roses are red

      Violets are red

      The grass is red

      The sky is red

      Shit! The garden's on fire!

    5. Alistair Silver badge
      Joke

      @fluffyBunnyUK:

      Yer just jealous that its not easter yet. Yeeesh. Its coming bunny, its coming.

    6. phuzz Silver badge

      Some roses are red

      Violets aren't blue

      I'm pedantic

      How about you?

      Seriously, they're even called 'violets', who would think they're blue?

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        @phuzz: "violet" refers to any of a dozen or so species of flower which come in multiple varieties, and cover a wide variety of colours, including violet, darkish purples, blue, cream, and even some fairly raucous shades of orange and yellow.

        So while they aren't *all* blue, some of them are, and a bunch of others are neither violet nor blue.

        Overall, it's not really very informative.

      2. x 7 Silver badge

        Wild violets come in many colours - white, pink, dark blue, pale blue, lavender, violet.....

        try going out into the countryside and actually looking at what you're seeing

        or try reading a book, such as this page

        http://paintdrawer.co.uk/naturebooks/wild-flowers-the-wild-flowers-of-britain-and-northern-europe-by-marjory-blamey-fitter-fitter-9780006364573.jpg

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          "Wild violets come in many colours - white, pink, dark blue, pale blue, lavender, violet.....

          try going out into the countryside and actually looking at what you're seeing"

          You're right of course, but the only ones I see flowering at this time of year near me are purple (they're dog violets).

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Seriously, they're even called 'violets', who would think they're blue?

        "Lavenders blue, dilly dilly, lavenders green

        When I am King, dilly dilly

        You will be Queen"..

        (Wanders off whistling "Freaks")

    7. ukgnome Silver badge

      @fluffybunnyuk

      Somebody needs a cuddle

    8. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      "just got annoyed at the umpteenth roses are red thing"

      /me points out the article date - 2/14

      repetition - sometimes its funnier that way

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        repetition - sometimes its funnier that way

        For at least, oh, two seconds or so.

        It's a bit like the pling that they always use repeatedly in headlines regarding Yahoo - you sometimes just have to go with the flow and supress the homicidal thoughts that try to bubble up..

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Roses are red,

      My name is Dave,

      This poem makes no sense,

      Microwave.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @fluffybunnyuk - Are you that guy that actually responds to the April Fool's stories as well?

  4. trisul

    Russian spies have rights

    Specifically, they have the right to prepare the way for an enemy cyber attack on the US by deploying enemy enabled infrastructure.

    If you ask me, Kaspersky might even end up in jail, if he insists of these rights.

    Kaspersky cannot work on special projects for the FSB, be a personal friend to Putin and expect to be treated as not a risk Security is about reducing risks and getting rid of Kaspersky makes sense, from a risk management perspective. After all, if there is a cyber attack, and Kaspersky is involved, all those ignoring the warnings should go to jail.

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      Re: Russian spies have rights

      Of course he can. He is a friend of Putin and when Putin says something, you have to believe him.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Russian spies have rights

      A Russian spy who is within the jurisdiction of any US court has exactly the same rights as any other person within the jurisdiction of that court, including the protection of the constitution. Go read the 14th amendment.

      By all means "treat Kaspersky as a risk". There are plenty of ways to do that. If the government sees fit it can declare Kaspersky Labs a proscribed organization, freeze its assets, deport or arrest any representatives it finds in the US, prevent them from entering the country (or leaving it, or travelling within it for that matter)...

      But the government hasn't done any of those things. Instead it's passed a bill of attainder - a form of law explicitly forbidden by the constitution - not even the bill of rights, but the main text of the constitution itself. The politicians who drafted and voted for that law, and the president who signed it, should all be recalled/impeached for perjury, because they all took an oath to uphold the constitution, and they've all broken it.

      1. Steve Knox Silver badge

        Re: Russian spies have rights

        But the government hasn't done any of those things. Instead it's passed a bill of attainder ...

        No it hasn't. A bill of attainder is legislation which declares someone guilty of a crime without a trial.

        The action by DHS is not legislation but an operational decision on which software to use, and justifies the decision by claiming Kaspersky's software is an information security risk. If publishing software which is an information security risk were a crime, Bill Gates would be serving several life sentences.

        The National Defense Authorization Act also does not claim any criminal act on Kaspersky's part.

        The worst they may say is that Kaspersky's software is not fit for purpose or does not meet government standards. Neither of those two is a crime; hence the bill of attainder argument is complete fallacy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF is going with today's register headlines?!

    stroppy head-bot? :/

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: WTF is going with today's register headlines?!

      The headline writer needs a special friend for the evening?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously

    Is it better dead than red day?

    If you had read the original report then you would know that the same content was leaked to china first but I guess the US worries that if they annoy them the way they do the Russians they will call in the debt and bankrupt them.

    Personally I cannot fault Kaspersky for how they dealt with the NSA letting their contractors take their malware home with them, Kaspersky dealt with it exactly how an AV company is supposed to after a advanced user agreed to upload suspicious content for analysis it did just that and found they had the US malware arsenel.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this ban is purely because they are associated with Russia and is an anticompetative slur.

    I presume that Kaspersky will now just add all the US malware to their databases and then the only people who the NSA will be using them on will be their own, perhaps a bid to improve inter-agency communication?

  7. fluffybunnyuk

    hehe thx guys funny stuff!!!

    Back on topic , Its only unconstitutional if someone holds the government to account, and gets away with it. The USA has a track record of this kind of nonsense.

    I had a good upvote run yesterday so just awaiting the downvote roll-in

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If company X decides not to buy products from company Y, for any reason at all, is that unconstitutional?

      So if government X decides not to buy products from company Y, is that unconstitutional?

      This 'ban' doesn't apply to anyone apart from the US government itself. Crucially, it is not imposing the ban on anyone else.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        ...So if government X decides not to buy products from company Y, is that unconstitutional?...

        Governments are a bit special - they run off taxpayer's money, so they have a duty to be fair.

        However, they also have a duty to support the country that they run, so if they determine that a particular firm would be bad for the country in some way they should refuse to trade with it. Cruicially, they should have evidence for that - and it's probably no good enough to say that 'We politicians are trying to scare the country into war with Russia, and so a knee-jerk reaction against anything Russian is a good political move..."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Governments are a bit special - they run off taxpayer's money, so they have a duty to be fair

          1. This duty is written in the constitution?

          2. This duty of fairness extends to everyone, including non-US corporations?

  8. Not also known as SC Silver badge
    Joke

    'Kaspersky' is the problem

    'Kaspersky' even sounds Russian. Talk about making things difficult for themselves. Why don't they just rename the company to something like 'Mom's Apple Pie AV' and then there won't be any more problems.

    1. joea

      Re: 'Kaspersky' is the problem

      Or "PCmatic" . . .

      oh, probably only US TV watchers have seen the ads for this "Home Grown" software that "invented white lists" . . . made in 'merica, gotta be good.

  9. ShelLuser
    Holmes

    What a bunch of hypocrites the US are :/

    First of all the classified information leaked because the NSA agent turned out to be a complete idiot. They used Kaspersky but apparently without bothering to go over the settings or simply totally ignoring the whole thing.

    Shell theory: I think the NSA got so used to snooping and data slurping that it has become second nature to them, so the idea of a problem never occurred to this guy!

    But second... Have we already forgotten the iron grip in which the US government placed Apple for refusing to share and/or apply a backdoor to their product in order to give the US government unrestricted access to their devices?.

    That's not some wild rumor or hearsay, that's a proven fact, because even the president himself uttered how "unpatriotic Apple was" in his opinion.

    So apparently it's perfectly fine to snoop when it's the US doing the snooping, but as soon as a nation which the US doesn't like could perhaps but not proven! do the same then it's time for some old fashioned mayhem and very selective criticism, because how dare they!

    As said: what a bunch of hypocrites.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: What a bunch of hypocrites the US are :/

      As I understand the US government claim, in part, is that the information the Kaspersky AV uploaded became available to the Russian government. I am not aware whether they took a position on whether that was because Kaspersky cooperated with the Russian government or simply that the Russian government penetrated Kaspersky's infrastructure obtained it without Kasperdky's knowledge or consent. From the perspective of US government agencies, the difference would be immaterial.

      If it is a "proven fact" that the US government put Apple in an "iron grip"for refusing to share and/or apply a backdoor to their product in order to give the US government unrestricted access to their devices" it should be easy to give a reference. That cannot mean the well known case of the iPhone used by the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino shooter, since the order given to Apple in that case required no such thing. Anyone who thinks otherwise may see the original order at

      https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/file/825001/download

      This order arguably required a back door to the specific iPhone and required that if Apple implemented the government's proposed solution, it "be coded with a unique identifier of the phone so that the SIF would only load and execute on the 'SUBJECT DEVICE'."

  10. Mike Richards Silver badge

    No just Kaspersky

    The US intelligence bods are now warning people against buying Huawei phones. I might believe the FBI, CIA and NSA a bit more if they hadn't spent quite so much time and effort doing precisely what they're accusing the Chinese government of doing:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/chinas-hauwei-top-us-intelligence-chiefs-caution-americans-away.html

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: No just Kaspersky

      "I might believe the FBI, CIA and NSA a bit more if they hadn't spent quite so much time and effort doing precisely what they're accusing the Chinese government of doing"

      keep in mind, there's a whole lot of "shake-up" going on at the top of those 3 organizations right now.

      Also worth pointing out: The former head of the CIA (under Obaka) voted COMMUNIST back in the 70's...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_O._Brennan

      (OK he says it was a protest vote - but it's funny to mention it anyway)

      Once these organizations get some forced re-organization, maybe some of the hypcritical nonsense will stop? That might include not using Windows, either. BSD is home-grown and open source, use that!

      Otherwise, it's been my observation that unscrupulous people tend to LOUDLY accuse others of doing the SAME things THEY do, and that goes MEGA-TUPLE for POLITICS.

  11. KSM-AZ
    Flame

    Kaspersky is just not that good anyway.

    If the US Govornment doesn't want to buy tech from a firm that is not on native soil that sounds like a reasonable security measure to me. It's probably stupid, until it isn't. . . Not to say a US tech firm could not be exploited by a foreign government, but I'm guessing we could react somewhat faster if they were here in CONUS. But hey, it's a free country *you* can buy whatever you want, from wherever you want.

    If you live in the UK, you can howl to the appropriate places as you see fit to allow whatever you might want your government to use. If you don't live in the US, then it's not your concern, get over yourself.

    All that said Kaspersky is as awful as McAfee. I'm liking Cylance thus far, Sophos was getting way too flakey and fat. YMMV.

    This must be intentional flame war comment stuff. Do people really lack enough cynicism and experience to believe that the Russian government, or the US governent for that matter would not try and exploit something like an AV program installed on machines if it so desired? Really?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kaspersky is just not that good anyway.

      "All that said Kaspersky is as awful as McAfee", I disagree I would say, having used both, that McAfee is incomparably inferior and having worked with McAfee for years in corporate environments I would say that it created more problems than it solved.

      As to the US Gov not wanting it to be run on state equipment, that in itself is not a problem but the public slur of suggesting that Kaspersky was acting inappropriately was and cannot be seen as anything other than anticompetative.

      If the US Gov had some real evidence to back up their claims against Kaspersky then they would have banned the software completely from the US but clearly they do not so the Gov is again using the "better dead than red" to distract the US public from the fact that the US spy agencies fked up yet again. That so many people posting here buy the spiel is a sad reminder of just how much the US public and the NSA deserve each other.

  12. DCFusor Silver badge

    Might be

    that they detect the USA badware, unlike all the other AV's out there. This is so unlikely that it's a near sure thing that the other AV's have put in some kind of ability for the TLAs to get past them, probably demanded by the US government (if you can call this government). Kaspersky rightly refuses to do this, just like some other companies don't want to put in crypto backdoors.

    The committed the fatal sin of showing the world that US badware is detectable by at least one AV, but not others. NSA and pals can't have that - people might think and stuff.

    What other badware do all the other AV's miss? Is it like there's a special magic key for US badware, or what? I thought that at least many of them worked by behavior at some level - hey - something's sending a lot of data out of your box - for example. So will the other AV's now also miss badware that's just the less-professional non-state criminals?

    1. JCitizen
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Might be

      So far the only country agnostic anti-malware I know of is Emsisoft. They even flipped the bird to the German government for insisting on white-listing their own country's spyware. They are also the ONLY anti-malware that can find all the MPAA's DRM spyware in my entertainment system - the only reason I quit using them, was because they eventually made it impossible to successfully put such processes in an exclusion zone. I couldn't play my Blu-ray or watch HDTV on cable as long as Emsisoft was on my PC, so I had to get rid of it. Sad really, because they must be the best!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019