Report: Twitter confirms ban of ads from RussiaТs Kaspersky Lab
MOSCOW, Apr 23 (PRIME) -- Twitter has confirmed its ban imposed on advertisements of Russian antivirus software maker Kaspersky Lab since the latterТs business model conflicts with the microblog serviceТs advertising rules and the company itself is allegedly tied to Russian special services, Reuters reported late on April 20.
Twitter confirmed the ban in an e-mail to Reuters after Kaspersky Lab co-founder Yevgeny Kaspersky disclosed the development in a blog post earlier on April 20, saying that the company learned of the ban in early January.
The ban follows charges by Washington that Kaspersky Lab has close ties to intelligence agencies in Moscow and its software could be used to enable Russian spying, which prompted the Trump administration to ban its products from U.S. government networks.
Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied those allegations, saying it will open up its code for inspection so that experts can hunt for vulnerabilities in its products that could be exploited by intelligence agencies, and it has asked a U.S. federal court to overturn the U.S. ban.
Kaspersky said in his blog post that he was surprised by TwitterТs ban and asked the company to reconsider.
Department of Homeland Security cyber-security official Jeanette Manfra said her agency has not instructed U.S. companies to punish Kaspersky.
УWe laid out a very transparent process and how we came to our decision,Ф to ban Kaspersky products from government networks, she said at a panel at the RSA security conference in San Francisco. УI would defer to the companies for how they made their decisions.Ф
Kaspersky said in an e-mail that Twitter was the only social media company to ban its ads.
But other social media companies have taken action regarding Kaspersky Lab. Facebook in January said it had removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of anti-virus offerings to users.
When asked to explain its ban, Twitter said in an e-mail, УThis decision is based on our determination that Kaspersky Lab operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.Ф
Twitter also said it was responding to a Department of Homeland Security warning of a threat to national security posed by Russian government access to Kaspersky products.
It is rare for Twitter to ban specific advertisers. In October 2017 it banned Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, accusing them of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections. Last month, Twitter banned cryptocurrency ads.