A US military budget bill, unveiled Wednesday, seeks to limit the presence of video content allegedly linked to the Russian government on the national television stations.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 “Provides that a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), such as cable and satellite television providers, may not be required to carry video content from television stations to the extent that such content is owned, controlled, or financed by the Government of the Russian Federation.”
Additionally, the draft legislation says that MVPDs “may not be required to lease, or otherwise make available, channel capacity to any person for the provision of video programming that is owned, controlled, or financed by the Government of the Russian Federation.”
This is the latest attempt by US lawmakers to crack down on Russian-based alternative media that have presence in the United States. International broadcaster RT has been accused by Congress of trying to influence the outcome of last year’s presidential elections. The channel has denied these claims, while its editor-in-chief has slammed the US authorities over the unprecedented pressure on the RT bureau in the country.
US Defense Budget Bill Seeks to Legally Ban Kaspersky Software from Pentagon
The 2018 US draft budget also suggests banning the Defense Department from using Kaspersky Lab products over fears of alleged Russian state interference, according to the document out Wednesday.
The measure, published by the Senate Armed Services Committee, “prohibits the DOD from using software platforms developed by Kaspersky Lab due to reports that the Moscow-based company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.”
It also requires the Secretary of Defense to “review and report on the procedures for removing suspect products or services from federal government information technology networks.”
This comes two months after the Homeland Security Department asked state agencies to stop using Kaspersky products within the next 90 days, citing potential threat to the national cybersecurity. The company has denied having ever worked for a government or engaging in cyberespionage.