Feds Ban WeChat and Kaspersky Apps on Government Devices
Starting today, October 30, the federal government has launched a ban on China’s WeChat app and Kaspersky apps on all government-issued mobile devices.
The announcement was made by the President of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, who emphasized the government’s commitment to maintaining the security and privacy of its networks and data.
“We are taking a risk-based approach to cybersecurity by removing access to these applications on government mobile devices,” said Anand in a statement.
The decision for the ban was informed by an assessment from the Chief Information Officer of Canada. The officer determined that the data collection methods employed by WeChat and Kaspersky applications pose an unacceptable level of risk, as they allow considerable access to the contents of the device.
While there is currently no evidence to suggest that government information has been compromised due to the use of these applications, the ban serves as a precautionary measure to ensure the ongoing security of government networks and data. The move is also consistent with the cybersecurity approaches of Canada’s international partners.
As for everyone else, the feds say the decision to install WeChat and these Kaspersky apps remains a “personal choice.” WeChat is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent and has over a billion users globally. The app lets users chat, make payments, network and more.
Back in February, the feds banned another app with ties to China, as TikTok was put on the removal list from government mobile devices.