Canada’s Whatsapp app is currently being blocked in many countries, including the US, the UK, and Germany, due to concerns over the company’s business practices and privacy practices.
But one Canadian company is taking the Canadian government to task over the matter.
A Canadian company called WhatsApp Inc. filed a complaint with Canada’s telecom regulator on Monday alleging that Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) has failed to act in a timely manner regarding the “unwanted use of a personal identifier” by the company.
The complaint also claimed that the company has received multiple complaints from Canadian citizens and residents of the US and other countries who have been able to access the WhatsApp service from abroad.
According to the company, it received an anonymous tip in October 2017 that WhatsApp Inc.’s users were accessing the service from the US.
The CSEC has not responded to CBC News’ requests for comment.
The company’s complaint alleges that the CSEC is currently “unable to determine whether the Canadian citizen or resident is likely to have a legitimate interest in the service,” or has violated Canadian law.
It claims that CSEC can only determine if a user is likely “to use the service for the purpose of sending or receiving information, or for the transmission of an electronic message.”
The CSCC has also not yet publicly responded to the complaint, though it did issue a statement on Monday that reads:”The CSRC takes these matters very seriously and is committed to protecting Canadians’ personal information.
This is why we have launched an investigation into the use of personal information by individuals who have obtained access to our secure system and to other CSEC-authorized users of the platform.”
Whatsapp’s Canadian founder, Neville Cheung, told CBC News that he believes that the complaint filed by the Canadian company amounts to a “political witch hunt” aimed at the company and its customers, calling the allegations “utterly baseless.”
According to a spokesperson for the company that filed the complaint with the CSCC, “the CSEC’s investigation was conducted in a manner that did not impact the customer’s access to the platform or its users.”
According, Cheung told CBC, “it’s the CSRC’s job to protect the security of Canadians’ information, and to ensure that the privacy of Canadians is protected.
I think they’ve failed to do that in this case.””
I think the fact that they’re doing this now is a political witch hunt and I think the public should know that,” Cheung added.
According, the company is also working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fight back against the alleged abuse of Canadians personal information, as well as to find a solution to the “problem” of “unlawful access” to the WhatsApp platform by the US government and its allies.
The Canadian government has previously expressed concern about the “unauthorized access” of its users’ personal data by foreign governments and spy agencies.
The government’s stance was reiterated in the 2017 Federal Communications Act, which was passed under the Conservative government.
In December, the government said that it would begin cracking down on the use by US government agencies and other foreign entities of Canada’s internet protocol (IP) address space.
In its latest statement on the matter, the FCC said that the agency will begin “a detailed investigation into these complaints.”
“We will ensure that these complaints are thoroughly investigated and we will work to ensure appropriate and appropriate measures are taken to protect our users’ privacy, including blocking and de-identifying unlawful access to Canadian IP addresses,” it added.
WhatsApp’s website currently redirects visitors to a page where they can request that their personal information be blocked in their country of residence.
In the meantime, the CSCE has previously said that “it takes seriously any allegation that personal information is being inappropriately accessed or misused.”