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06 December 2011, 14:39

Kaspersky leaves Business Software Alliance

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Kaspersky logo The anti-virus and security vendor Kaspersky has only hesitantly expressed concerns about the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and had previously advocated the act. Kaspersky will terminate its membership as a protest at the BSA's position on 1 January 2012.

Kaspersky said in a statement that contrary to public perception it had not participated in the drafting of the bill or the debate around the bill and it did not endorse SOPA. Eugene Kaspersky said on Twitter that he would be making a futher statement on the issue. In the past, Kaspersky had welcomed US initiatives to curb cyber-crime, but it took the position that these initiatives were to the benefit of users. Eugene Kaspersky describes SOPA as "vinyl-era legislation trying to manage the industry that requires a different approach".

SOPA sets out to block domains and web sites at the network level to prevent the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Because the operators usually cannot be held directly responsible or accountable for the sites, the law includes the ability for the court to force providers to block access to the sites in question at the DNS level. Search engines would also be required to erase references to such sites from their indexes.

Even Microsoft is, according to US media sources, believed to be quietly opposed to SOPA, but it has yet to join the ranks of companies campaigning against the act, such as AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo, Zynga and Mozilla. Critics say SOPA would force ISPs and content providers into far-reaching obligations to inspect and monitor their customers.


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