The federal government is banning WeChat and Kaspersky applications from its phones over security concerns.

WeChat is a social network, messaging and payments app from Chinese company Tencent, while Kaspersky was founded by Russian entrepreneur Eugene Kaspersky and offers cybersecurity and antivirus software.

The government said both apps would be removed from its devices Monday and users will be blocked from downloading WeChat or Kaspersky products in the future.

It said it made the move because the chief information officer of Canada determined that the WeChat and Kaspersky apps present "an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security."

Kaspersky, in a statement, said it was disappointed and surprised by the decision, claiming it was made without "opportunity for engagement by Kaspersky on the Canadian government’s underlying concerns."

The statement suggested the move seemed to have been "made on political grounds."

"As there has been no evidence or due process to otherwise justify these actions, they are highly unsupported and a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services," the company's statement said.

The government's chief information officer said the apps' data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of any mobile device they're on and the government wanted to ensure their networks and data remain secure.

It said it has no evidence that information has been compromised as a result of employees using the apps.

Feds ban #WeChat, #Kaspersky apps from government-issued devices over security concerns. #CDNPoli

The statement from Kaspersky noted its data services and engineering practices have been confirmed by independent third-party assessments.

"Kaspersky provides industry-leading products and services to customers around the world to protect them from all types of cyberthreats, and it has stated clearly that it doesn’t have any ties with any government, including Russia’s."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version spelled Kaspersky incorrectly in the headline.

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Realistically, though apps sources from certain countries have a greater risk of being spyware, there really isn't much we do use every day like operating systems (Windows, IOS, Android), email, social media apps or software products and other apps that don't phone home to some extent. The golden rule has always been, if it is meant to be a private or a secret, don't pass it along over the Internet in any shape or form.

I am surprised that the government would allow employees of government issued devices to freely install unauthorized software. Many organizations control device usage through policies that prevent users from installing applications not approved by the organization. The only exception is the bring your own devices that are also used with organizations, but still with added safeguards such as security software to prevent malicious apps from potential infection the corporate network.

The government should have gone much further and banned all social media apps from government issued devices. After all, these people are paid to work, not play and chat all day at tax payer's expense.