Minister Anand announces a ban on the use of WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications on government mobile devices
October 30, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Today, the President of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, announced a ban on the use of the WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications on government-issued mobile devices.
The Government of Canada is committed to keeping government information and networks secure. We regularly monitor potential threats and take immediate action to address risks.
Effective October 30, 2023, the WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications will be removed from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be blocked from downloading the applications in the future.
The Chief Information Officer of Canada determined that WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications present an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security. On a mobile device, the WeChat and Kaspersky applications data collection methods provide considerable access to the device’s contents.
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.
While the risks of using these applications are clear, we have no evidence that government information has been compromised.
For the broader public, the decision to use a social media application or mobile platform is a personal choice. However, the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) provides advice and guidance regarding the use of personal social media and on security considerations that should be made when using social media in an organization.
“We are taking a risk-based approach to cyber security by removing access to these applications on government mobile devices. The Government of Canada continuously works to safeguard our information systems and networks to ensure the privacy and protection of government information. We will continue to regularly monitor potential cyber threats and take immediate action when needed.”
- The Honourable Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board
The Policy on Service and Digital- Canada.ca sets out the acceptable and unacceptable ways employees can use Government of Canada electronic networks and devices. Agencies and Crown corporations outside the Policy on Service and Digital are being informed about the removal of the WeChat and Kaspersky suite of applications.
Office of the President of the Treasury Board of Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
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