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Twitter blocks ads from Russia's Kaspersky Lab

Twitter blocks ads from Russia's Kaspersky Lab

Twitter has banned ads on its service from Russian security software maker Kaspersky Lab, after the US government prohibited agencies from using its products because of alleged ties to the Russian government. "Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules", a Twitter spokesperson told The Register.

"At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyber threats and what to do about them", Eugene wrote on Friday.

Twitter has banned Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russia's Kaspersky Lab is on displayat the company's office in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2017.

In a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, CEO Eugene Kaspersky expressed he was dumbfounded by the decision: "One thing I can say for sure is this: we haven't violated any written - or unwritten - rules, and our business model is quite simply the same template business model that's used throughout the whole cybersecurity industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them".

"We laid out a very transparent process and how we came to our decision", to ban Kaspersky products from government networks, she said at a panel at the RSA security conference in San Francisco.

But other social media companies have taken action regarding Kaspersky Lab.

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Kaspersky said it plans to donate its Twitter advertising budget to the digital advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

Facebook Inc in January told the US Congress that it had in October a year ago removed Kaspersky Lab from its list of antivirus offerings to users who go to the social media site from a computer that might be infected with malicious code.

In addition to Kaspersky, who claims to have no ties with the Kremlin or Russian government, business tycoons on the list include Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, U.S. NBA basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska.

It is rare for Twitter to ban specific advertisers.

In October past year, the social network accused Russian media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik of interfering in the 2016 USA elections and banned them from buying ads. President Trump then signed this ban into law with the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that prohibited "use of products and services developed or provided by Kaspersky Lab".

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