Amazon buys the secure messaging platform Wickr

It's meant for AWS, but it opens other possibilities.

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REUTERS/Ivan AlvaradoREUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Amazon is the latest to hop on the secure messaging bandwagon. Motherboard reports that Amazon has acquired Wickr, best known as the secure chat platform Democrats used after the 2016 DNC hack. The internet giant sees it as a complement to Amazon Web Services that gives companies and governments an easy solution for remote work conversations, including video and voice.

AWS is offering Wickr's services "effective immediately," and existing Wickr customers shouldn't expect a change.

The move is a big deal for AWS. Wickr already counts militaries, Customs and Border Protection, and other significant organizations as customers. This could help Amazon make up for losing the JEDI contract and otherwise give it an edge when negotiating government deals. If an agency already has an Amazon license thanks to Wickr, it might be more willing to buy other services. 

However, it also raises possibilities for everyday uses. Secure messaging is already thriving in the consumer world between platforms like WhatsApp, iMessage, Signal and Telegram. The Wickr purchase is far from a guarantee that Amazon will offer a direct competitor to those chat services (Amazon hasn't said anything to this effect), but the company could enter the space with relatively little work.

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