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Many posts contain thinly veiled references to child sexual abuse material

Child sexual abuse imagery on the internet has been an issue since the early days of the consumer web, but the problem has ballooned in recent years as content creation and sharing have become easier than ever

In a statement, an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said: “Amazon is committed to preventing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in every segment of our business, including Wickr, which maintains strict Terms of Use that clearly prohibit illegal activity. We act quickly on reports of illegal behavior, respond immediately to requests from law enforcement, and take the appropriate actions. Anyone found to be in violation of our terms is subject to account termination.”

From Reddit and Twitter to Wickr

But law enforcement officials have at times expressed frustration with apps that offer the kind of end-to-end encryption that Wickr uses, particularly if the platforms aren’t proactively working to combat criminal activity.

Wickr, an early player in the world of end-to-end encrypted messengers, works like most privacy-focused messaging apps. Users communicate with individuals or groups in an encrypted format, which strips messages of identifying details. That ensures only the sender and receiver can ever see their content, leaving hardly any trace of details about the conversation which could be accessed by law enforcement or Amazon. That technology, along with settings that allow for self-deleting messages, has made Wickr an attractive tool for many who seek privacy, including individuals conducting criminal activity.

Wickr requires no personal information to sign up, unlike its competitors WhatsApp and Signal, asking only for a username and password. Once on the app, users can directly connect with others individually or in group chats via search or an invite.

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