Russian anti-virus software firm Kaspersky Lab, which is suspected by US authorities of helping the Kremlin’s espionage efforts, said Tuesday it was moving its core infrastructure and operations to Switzerland.
The transfer “includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates,” said Kaspersky, whose software protects some 400 million computers worldwide.
“To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland,” it added.
The move follows controversy in the United States last year when the federal government removed Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors, weeks after senior US intelligence agency and law enforcement officials expressed concerns about the safety of its software.
US government workers were ordered to stop using Kaspersky anti-virus software.
Kaspersky denied that its products had “backdoors” which would allow Russian intelligence agencies to spy on computers using its software, and said it would take measures to reassure customers about the safety of its products.
By the end of this year, the production of its anti-virus software will be shifted to Zurich and a data centre will be built there next year where information on most non-Russian customers will be stored.
Development and data storage for the Russian market will remain in Russia, a Kaspersky executive told AFP.