Canada Bans WeChat and Kaspersky Apps On Government Devices

Oct 31, 2023NewsroomNational Security / Cyber ​​Threats

Canada bans WeChat and Kaspersky

Canada on Monday announced a ban on the use of apps from Tencent and Kaspersky on government mobile devices, citing an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to keeping government information and networks secure,” the Canadian government SAYS. “We constantly monitor potential threats and take immediate action to address those risks.”

To that end, Tencent’s WeChat and Kaspersky’s suite of applications have been removed from government-issued mobile devices effective October 30, 2023. Going forward, users of these devices will be blocked from downloading apps.

“We are taking a risk-based approach to cyber security by removing access to these applications on government mobile devices,” said Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, in a statement, and added apps “provide more access to device content.”

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. The all-in-one app has over 1 billion monthly active users, making it one of the largest online platforms.

Cybersecurity

Kaspersky, a Russian cybersecurity vendor, SAYS the ban seems to be made on political grounds and that the actions are “less supported and a response to the geopolitical climate than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky products and services.”

The step after Canada BANNED TikTok owned by ByteDance from government devices on a similar basis in February 2023. Earlier in March 2022, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added Kaspersky to the “Covered List” of companies that put “no acceptable risk to the national security” of the country.

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