Canada bans WeChat, Kaspersky applications on government devices

The ban iss announced after an assessment by Canada's chief information officer

Reuters
Published : 30 Oct 2023, 05:30 PM
Updated : 30 Oct 2023, 05:30 PM

Canada on Monday banned Chinese messaging application WeChat and Russian antivirus program Kaspersky on government-issued mobile devices due to privacy and security risks, but said government information had not been compromised.

The ban was announced after an assessment by Canada's chief information officer that Tencent-owned 0700.HK WeChat and applications made by Moscow-based Kaspersky "present an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security," the Treasury Board of Canada, which oversees public administration, said in a statement.

WeChat and Kaspersky did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Treasury Board, said it has no evidence that government information has been compromised, but the apps posed "clear" risks.

"The decision to remove and block the WeChat and the Kaspersky applications was made to ensure that government of Canada networks and data remain secure and protected and are in line with the approach of our international partners," the statement said.

The applications will be removed from government-issued mobile devices on Monday, and users will be blocked from downloading them in the future.

Canada in February banned TikTok, the short-video app owned by Chinese company Bytedance, from government-issued devices due to similar privacy and security concerns.