CIA investment arm ploughs US$1.6m into secure messaging app Wickr


The CIA has invested US$1.6 million (A$2.2 million) within the firm behind the secure messaging app Wickr, by way of its investment arm In-Q-Tel, the American web site Motherboard reports, citing public disclosure data as a supply.

A white-labelled port of the app is believed to have been used within the An0m gadgets which intelligence businesses employed in a sting operation that focused prison gangs and eventually took a few of them down, with the Australian Federal Police additionally playing a role.

The Motherboard report mentioned the CIA investment had been made earlier than Amazon acquired Wickr in July this yr.

Apart from the CIA investment, Wickr has a separate product developed for the US Department of Defence and a US$900,000 contract with the US Customs and Border Protection.

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Australians would recall that again in 2015, when Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister, he was given the green light to make use of Wickr. A report mentioned this got here shortly after he admitted to utilizing a personal electronic mail server for communications, together with messages associated to authorities enterprise.

Turnbull had additionally pushed for his cupboard to make use of the Slack messaging app, a report said in October 2015. 

Messages despatched on Wickr self-destruct after a specified time period. Downloads of the app increased markedly after the information that Turnbull makes use of it was made public.

Turnbull has proven an curiosity in placing cash into comparable initiatives, having invested in Kasada, an organization by which the CIA has an investment. He has additionally invested within the industrial management techniques safety specialist Dragos, which is run by ex-NSA alumnus Robert Lee.

In-Q-Tel operates largely within the shadows, in response to an article in regards to the organisation in The Wall Street Journal.

More just lately, an organisation known as Recorded Future, backed by CIA funds, has arrange a tech news site known as The Record. Recorded Future has a US$20 million fund “to spend money on organisations who share our imaginative and prescient for a world secured by intelligence”.

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