Best Buy won't sell Russia-based Kaspersky Lab products anymore

Kaspersky is based in Moscow, and is facing accusations about ties to Russian intelligence.

Best Buy won't sell computer software anymore from the Russia-based Kaspersky Labs anymore.

The electronics chain is in the process of removing Kaspersky products – such as antivirus and computer security programs (here's an archived webpage) – from stores and website, a company spokesperson confirmed to GoMN.

They would not comment on the reason, saying deals with "specific vendors" isn't something they discuss.

However, the Star Tribune said concern within Best Buy about Kaspersky's alleged connections to the Russian government prompted the decision.

Reports, such as this one about Kaspersky coordinating with Russian intelligence agency FSB, have U.S. officials publicly expressing concerns.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said this week said she wants the U.S. government to stop using Kaspersky software, and is introducing a bill banning it.

Kaspersky for its part has repeatedly – and declaratively – denied any connection to the Moscow Kremlin. In July for example the company told NPR it's "completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations."

But a cloud continues to hang over the 20-year-old company, whose founder – Eugene Kaspersky – trained at a KGB school, Reuters has reported

Still, Kaspersky Labs has touted real successes, including helping uncover the Stuxnet virus and Carbanak gang, The Economist wrote. And from a business perspective, Kasperky's website says it has more than 400 million users worldwide, and in 2013 Kaspersky Labs brought in $667 million, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg also called Kaspersky software a favorite among Best Buy's Geek Squad.

There's even a specific landing page on Kaspersky's website for people to activate subscriptions purchased through Geek Squad. 

But now that relationship is now being cut off. Kaspersky products are already gone from Best Buy's site when you search – here's one example:

Kaspersky Lab in an email statement said the company has "enjoyed a decade-long relationship with Best Buy and its customer base," adding Kaspersky will keep offering "industry-leading cybersecurity solutions" to consumers.

The statement also said Kaspersky's relationship with Best Buy "may be re-evaluated in the future."

To which a Best Buy spokesperson reiterated: “We don’t comment on contracts with specific vendors.”

Anyone who bought a Kaspersky subscription through Best Buy that's still active has 45 days to exchange it – for free – for another similar product. You can uninstall it yourself, or bring it to Geek Squad in that time for a free removal.

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