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Amazon recently deactivated its own encrypted chat service

Consumer-focused encrypted messaging service Wickr Me, developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS), will stop accepting new users as of December 2022.

After releasing Wickr Me in 2012 and being purchased by Amazon in June2021, the firm announced on its official news site that it will instead concentrate on providing encrypted communication solutions for business customers.

The business promises to continue providing “security and administrative tools meant to preserve sensitive messages” to users of its private messaging applications, AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise.

Encryption’s Biggest Flaw

There’s no denying that financial considerations played a role in the decision to shut down Wickr Me; after all, businesses are more likely to pay for the service than regular people. However, there are also good reasons to think that the company is ending the service as a strategic public relations move.

The spread of sexual content involving kids on the site was the subject of 72 court proceedings in the previous five years, according to NBC News (opens in new tab) research conducted in June 2022. Wickr “certainly reacts correctly” and “cooperates with law enforcement on these essential concerns,” according to an AWS spokeswoman.

CNBC notes that the programme was used by drug traffickers, hacker organisations, and terrorists in addition to journalists and those with legitimate privacy concerns. Media sources began reporting in 2015 that Islamic State terrorists were using the messaging app Wickr Me to attract new members.

The company’s federal contract work with organisations like Customs and Border Protection has been under investigation since AWS’s 2021 purchase of Wickr, although this aspect of the company’s operations is not mentioned in the most recent release.

Evidence suggests that the firm aids in the destruction of US government communications (opens in new tab).