Customs and Border Protection Paid $700,000 To Encrypted App Wickr

Customs and Border Protection Paid 0,000 To Encrypted App Wickr
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security, recently paid encrypted messaging platform Wickr over $700,000, Motherboard has found. The news highlights the value of end-to-end encryption to law enforcement, while other federal law enforcement agencies routinely lambast the technology for what they say results in visibility on criminals’ activities “going dark.”

The contract is related to “Wickr licenses and support,” dates from September 2020, and totals at $714,600, according to public procurement records. Wickr is likely most well known for its free consumer app, which lets users send encrypted messages to one another, as well as make encrypted video and audio calls. The app also offers an auto-burn feature, where messages are deleted from a users’ device after a certain period of time, with the company claiming these messages “can never be uncovered,” according to its website. Wickr also offers various paid products to private companies and government agencies. Wickr Pro and Wickr Enterprise are marketed towards businesses; Wickr RAM is geared specifically for the military. […] It is not clear which specific Wickr product CBP paid for. A CBP spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement that “The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and other laws prohibit the unauthorized use and disclosure of proprietary information from federal government contract actions. All publicly available information on this contract has been made available at the link you have provided. Any other information is considered proprietary to the awardee (WICKR) and shall not be divulged outside of the Government.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.