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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 enterprises, the company announced Friday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The announcement comes as Amazon Web Services looks to pick up more government business. AWS has been locked in a protracted legal battle with Microsoft over the Pentagon’s multibillion-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 for AWS, said the need for secure communications services like those offered by Wickr has accelerated as the Covid-19 pandemic pushed many to adopt hybrid work environments.

“Wickr’s secure communications solutions help enterprises and government organizations adapt to this change in their workforces and is a welcome addition to the growing set of collaboration and productivity services that AWS offers customers and partners,” Schmidt said.

A notice posted to Wickr’s website confirmed the acquisition: “From our founding ten years ago, we have grown to serve organizations across a wide range of industries, all over the world. Together with AWS, we look forward to taking our solutions to the next level for our customers and partners.”

Wickr offers an app that’s free to the public, along with a paid service geared toward supporting military communications.

The San Francisco-based start-up counts the Department of Defense as one of its customers. Vice reported in April that U.S. Customs and Border Protection purchased Wickr licenses. Wickr also bills itself as the “only collaboration service with full functionality to meet all security criteria outlined by the National Security Agency.”



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