Business

Wickr Me, Amazon’s encrypted chat app, stops accepting brand-new users

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Wickr Me, an Amazon-owned encrypted chat platform, stopped accepting brand-new users after Dec. 31 and will close down totally on Dec. 31 of this year, according to an statement from the business.

The choice, initially revealed in November, follows a number of debates surrounding the ultra-secure chat app, which enabled users to register without a telephone number or other possibly determining info, making it a preferred for security-minded groups consisting of hackers, drug dealerships and reporters.

In June, an NBC News examination exposed that Wickr Me had actually ended up being a go-to item for many individuals trading kid sexual assault product. The examination determined 72 lawsuit from the previous 5 years in which the accused apparently utilized Wickr (as it’s typically understood) to trade kid sexual assault product. Law enforcement authorities and an agent for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children informed NBC News at the time that Wickr wasn’t doing enough to find or report the trading of such product on its platform.

In a declaration offered to NBC News in June, an Amazon Web Services representative stated: “Amazon is committed to preventing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in every segment of our business, including Wickr, which maintains strict Terms of Use that clearly prohibit illegal activity. We act quickly on reports of illegal behavior, respond immediately to requests from law enforcement, and take the appropriate actions. Anyone found to be in violation of our terms is subject to account termination.”

“Wickr absolutely responds appropriately to, and cooperates with, law enforcement on these critical matters,” the representative stated.

In its declaration in November, the business described that it was closing down Wickr Me to dedicate more resources and focus towards its business-to-business items, AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise. The post did not point out business it has with federal government companies, consisting of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

When NBC News attempted to develop a brand-new test account on the app on Jan. 1, it showed a pop-up expression: “Wickr Me will not support new users starting 31-Dec-2022. Wickr Me will be unavailable after 31-Dec-2023.”

Wickr was established in 2012, using top-level file encryption to a consumer-messaging item. By 2015, the business had actually raised $39 million in financing. That exact same year, various outlets reported that the Islamic State terrorist company was utilizing the app to hire brand-new members. In 2016, among the very first effective prosecutions versus somebody trading kid porn on the app was reported by the Deseret Morning News.

In June 2021, Wickr was gotten by Amazon Web Services. Since the acquisition, the business had actually dealt with concerns about its federal government agreements with companies like Customs and Border Protection, and drew in attention with its function in records-related scandals in which the app was utilized to immediately damage federal government interactions.

Blake

News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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