WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision to stop using Kaspersky Lab products reflects a US obsession to demonize Russia, former National Security Agency (NSA) technical director and whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik.
The DHS said in a press release on Wednesday it has directed US federal departments and agencies to discontinue use of Kaspersky Lab products within the next 90 days.
The DHS said it made the decision because of the company's alleged links to the Russian government and related threats to US national security — a claim repeatedly denied by Kaspersky Lab.
Binney, who served for 36 years in the NSA and created many of the surveillance systems that the agency still uses, said on Thursday the decision reflected a far more widespread determination to whip up hostility towards Russia that could be found on both sides of Congress and in the US media.
"[It] seems that the Congress and MSM [mainstream media] plus the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and of course the military industrial complex want to demonize the Russians no matter if they are guilty or not," he said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized the DHS announcement as a manifestation of unfair competition.The DHS announcement on the discriminatory steps taken against Kaspersky lab cast a shadow on the image of the United States as a reliable partner, such actions by the American side are a manifestation of unfair competition, he explained.
Binney said a worrying aspect of the DHS decision was that it had been announced with no evidence to justify the move or to document the accusations behind it.
"I would not have a problem if in fact they had some evidence that the Russians did what they said; but, I can’t find any evidence of what they claim," he said.
Binney criticized the major US media outlets for passively accepting the official government line and showing no indication at all to check out the accusations and see if they could be confirmed or disproven independently.
"All of them are acting like sheep blindly following a narrative," he stated.
William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.
Binney is a cryptanalyst and mathematician and for 30 years he was a senior analyst at the NSA, where he was regarded as one of the best in the agency’s history before he exposed major aspects of its blanket surveillance programs.
Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov warned earlier that response measures could not be ruled out if the United States banned the use of Kaspersky Lab products.