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Amazon plans to close down Wickr’s free encrypted messaging app | Area Tech

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Amazon Internet Providers Inc. introduced Friday that it plans to close down Wickr Me, its free encrypted messaging app, on December 31, 2023, with the service ending new person registrations on the finish of 2022.

Amazon purchased Wickr in June 2021 for an undisclosed quantity. It had raised over $50 million from traders on the time. The startup supplies messaging capabilities that encrypt messages on the machine earlier than they’re despatched, offering end-to-end safety for correspondence.

Shortly after shopping for Wickr, Amazon started promoting Wickr’s safe messaging capabilities to enterprise companions as a paid app inside their enterprise choices. That capability will stay after the shutdown. The free messaging app is what can be deactivated on the finish of 2023.

“After cautious consideration, we are going to focus Wickr’s give attention to securing knowledge and communications for our industrial and public sector prospects with AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise, and have determined to discontinue our client product, Wickr Me,” Amazon wrote in a press release.

Wickr supplies extraordinarily sturdy encryption, utilized to each message, file, and name, and the corporate claims that “a single key would take trillions of years to crack.” That attracted the eye of presidency entities akin to Division of Protection businesses. In keeping with a Vice report, the US Customs and Border Safety company additionally signed $700,000 and $900,000 contracts with Amazon to make use of their service as nicely.

As a part of the shutdown, Amazon added that it’s wanting right into a manner for present prospects of the free messaging app to maintain their knowledge that’s presently on the platform. It’s typically utilized by journalists, activists, and whistleblowers in search of a option to keep away from third-party scrutiny.

Nevertheless, the market has a plethora of potential alternatives for these individuals. For instance, there are different free encrypted messaging apps like Wire, Telegram, and Sign, although Telegram has a fame for being utilized by legal components akin to drug sellers and rip-off artists. And Sign just lately began phasing out its assist for SMS messages on Android, which implies it might probably not be used as your default messenger, however it nonetheless works effective for encrypted messages.

Wickr Me itself has seen points with doubtlessly harboring legal components. He has been criticized for not doing sufficient to watch the sharing of kid sexual abuse pictures, NBC Information reported in June. The platform had additionally reportedly beforehand been used to facilitate drug transactions on the darkish net.

Supply: D3Damon/Getty Pictures

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Amazon plans to shut down Wickr’s free encrypted messaging app

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