Canada has prohibited the use of a Chinese and a Russian application from government devices due to potential cyber espionage threats.
The move, described as a “risk-based” ban, was announced in Ottawa by the country’s Treasury Board President Anita Anand amid increasing cybersecurity threats.
WeChat and Kaspersky will be removed from government-issued mobile devices, and downloading them will be prohibited.
She explained that the Chief Information Officer of Canada conducted an assessment and found that the two apps pose an unacceptably high level of risk to privacy and security.
Both WeChat and Kaspersky reportedly employ suspicious data collection methods, which allow them extensive access to a device’s contents.
Bolstering National Security
Banning these mobile applications is part of Canada’s efforts to safeguard sensitive information of citizens and bolster national security.
Chinese-built WeChat and Russia’s Kaspersky allegedly have strong ties to their respective governments, fueling concerns over data privacy and security.
If installed, the two apps may deliberately compromise sensitive government data.
Canada has seen an increased number of cyberattacks in recent months. In September, a group of Indian hackers claimed responsibility for taking down Canadian military websites.
A month later, the country’s defense department said the company that assists the Canadian military when it moves around the world had also been hacked.