THE CONTINUING hoo-ha over whether security giant Kaspersky has links to the Russian government has taken an unexpected turn, as Eugene Kaspersky has offered up the source code to his security products in order to prove once and for all to the US that he and his software is on the level.
"If the United States needs, we can disclose the source code," he told AP, promising "anything I can do to prove that we don't behave maliciously I will do it."
This, he said, could include appearing in front of US government officials in person and confirming his goodly ways under oath.
The main reason for doing this is that, as things stand, Kaspersky could be "banned from the Pentagon" and US Intelligence has suggested that Congress itself keeps away from the company's products, just in case they're installing a hotline to Russia's favourite bear-wrestler.
There's never been any proof that Kaspersky is in bed with the Putin regime - in fact, it's more logical that he isn't. But there's no question that his knowledge in the field comes from his time in a KGB-sponsored school and the Russian Ministry of Defence.
In these slightly Ayn Rand-y times, that can make him a cause for suspicion, but in reality, Kaspersky is another example of a Russian company that has gone on to help the global stage - there's a long history of it stretching back to the end of the Second World War. Google it.
For Kaspersky though, the fear is losing some lucrative government contracts and for that, Mr Kaspersky is willing to do whatever it takes to show he is on the level.
That hasn't stopped twelve of Kaspersky's executives being visited at home by the FBI, whilst some governments have offered up the idea of paying Kaspersky to launch cyber attacks for them, something the company adamantly denies falling for. After all, to admit to that, and then simultaneously do it, would be either a cunning double bluff, or more likely, bloody stupid.
Earlier this year, one Kaspersky Labs manager was arrested for treason by the Russian government, further mixing the messages.
What's not clear at the moment, is whether the US government is open to this kind of negotiation, or whether it will simply press ahead with plans for a ban. And then probably badly Photoshop a picture of Eugene Kaspersky's head on some WWE footage. µ
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