Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced late last week that it was shutting down the free encrypted messaging service Wickr Me and said in a blog post that it plans to "refocus" on its AWS Wickr and Wickr products. . Wickr family wing.
Wickr has been around for a decade, making it one of the first end-to-end encrypted messaging apps on the market. Wickr Me was popular with journalists and whistleblowers as a method of communicating sensitive information securely, experts say, but it was also widely used as a medium for illegal content such as child sexual abuse and drug trafficking, according to a report. June NBC News. .
Amazon's statement about the impending closure of Wickr Me doesn't directly address those allegations, but it does emphasize the renewed interest in enterprise and government versions of the app. Wickr is a relatively recent acquisition by Amazon, having started life in 2012 as a public app before being purchased in the summer of 2021 by the hyperscaler. Amazon, at the time, said the purchase was aimed at improving security for its many large organizational customers, who are facing increasing threats due to the shift to hybrid working.
“Public sector customers use Wickr for a wide range of missions, from communicating securely with office workers to providing service members with the tactical edge of encrypted communications,” said Steve Schmidt, vice president and CISO of AWS, in a blog post at the time of the acquisition. “Wickr's secure communications solutions are helping businesses and government organizations navigate this change in their workforces and are a welcome addition to the growing suite of productivity and collaboration services that AWS offers its customers and partners.
Wickr Me is still working for now, but will stop accepting new users at the end of December. The platform itself will remain operational for a year after that, and Amazon plans to completely shut down the system on December 31, 2023. The company said in its statement today that it will provide details "within the next few months" about current media users. may retain their data from the Wickr Me platform.
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