Amazon acquires Wickr secure messaging app used by government agencies

Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon Web Services, speaks during the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 25, 2016

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon’s cloud computing business has acquired Wickr, an encrypted messaging platform used by government agencies and businesses, the company announced on Friday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement comes as Amazon Web Services wants to do more government business. AWS is embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Microsoft over the Pentagon’s multi-billion dollar cloud deal. Thousands of government agencies use Amazon’s cloud computing services.

In a blog post Stephen Schmidt, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer of AWS said that the need for secure communication services such as those offered by Wickr has increased as the Covid-19 pandemic led many to adopt hybrid work environments.

“Wickr’s secure communications solutions help companies and government organizations adapt to this shift in their workforce and are a welcome addition to the growing collaboration and productivity services that AWS offers customers and partners,” said Schmidt.

A notice posted on the Wickr website confirmed the acquisition: “Since our inception ten years ago, we have evolved to serve organizations from a wide variety of industries around the world. Together with AWS, we look forward to bringing our solutions to the next round. “Level for our customers and partners.”

Wickr offers a free app for the public as well as a paid service to support military communications.

The San Francisco-based start-up counts the Department of Defense among its clients. Vice reported in April that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had bought Wickr licenses. Wickr also describes itself as “the only collaboration service with full functionality that meets all security criteria set by the National Security Agency”.

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