Wickr announced in a blog post that its free encrypted messaging app, Wickr Me, will be discontinued on December 31, 2023. The platform would no longer accept new users after Dec. 31.
In addition, the company stated it would shift its attention to safeguarding its commercial and public sector clients’ data and conversations via its non-consumer premium platforms AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise.
“After careful consideration, we will be concentrating Wickr’s focus on securing our business and public sector customers’ data and communications with AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise, and have decided to discontinue our consumer product, Wickr Me,” as per the post on its website.
“We also realize that some of our business and public sector customers use Wickr to communicate with individual users outside their network. We’re focusing on enabling this in AWS Wickr too.”
Next Project for Wickr
According to The Verge, Amazon Web Services (AWS) purchased Wickr in June 2021 and began putting the commercial version of the encrypted messaging software into its products for enterprises.
Both versions of the AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise apps will remain available indefinitely.
The shutdown affects only the consumer-facing version of Wickr, used by journalists, whistleblowers, and anybody who wants to keep their conversations private.
In the article announcing the suspension, PC Mag reported that the firm is now working on a feature that would make it possible for AWS Wickr clients in the commercial and public sectors to connect with individual users who were not part of its network.
Wickr also declared it would give further information to existing Wickr Me users in the coming months on steps they may take to safeguard their data.
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An Almost Perfect Messaging App
Secure end-to-end encrypted messaging – including text, images, videos, and file attachments – across Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows platforms was one of the main reasons AWS acquired the company last year.
PC Mag reported that all branches of the Department of Defense use Wickr because of its high-strength encryption, which the firm says would take trillions of years to crack. Journalists and whistleblowers also find it useful.
Q-Tel, the financial arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), invested $1.6 million in the company before Amazon purchased it last year, and it reportedly had a $900,000 deal with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
However, Wickr Me has been called out for allegedly not taking sufficient steps to prevent sharing sexually explicit photographs of children. In June, NBC News claimed that the app had become a “go-to destination” for such material.
Even underground market drug traffickers have found a use for the messaging app.
Other App Options
Telegram, Signal, and Viber are three more accessible alternatives to Wickr Me that also provide encrypted messaging.
WhatsApp is another decent choice, particularly now that it has improved its desktop and mobile apps by including several essential new functions.
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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada
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