Wickr Me, the free encrypted messaging app from Amazon Web Services, will retire on December 31, 2023. In a post on his websiteWickr says the app will stop accepting new user registrations on December 31, 2022 before completely disappearing next year.
AWS acquired Wickr last year and began packing the paid version of the secure messaging app into its business offerings. This version of the app, Wickr AWS, is not going away, and neither is Wickr Enterprise. The shutdown only affects the consumer-facing Wickr Me, which is often used by journalists, whistleblowers, and anyone else who wants to keep their posts away from prying eyes.
However, recent reports suggest that the app has become an outlet for criminals, with NBC News reporting in June that the app is “a go-to destination” for people looking to share child sexual abuse images. It has also been involved in the past as a hub for drug dealers who have been expelled from the dark web.
“After careful consideration, we will focus Wickr’s focus on securing our corporate and public sector customers’ data and communications with AWS Wickr and Wickr Enterprise, and have decided to discontinue our consumer product, Wickr Me the message reads. “We also realize that some of our corporate and public customers use Wickr to communicate with individual users outside of their network. We are focusing on making this possible in AWS Wickr as well.”