In one of the only cases reviewed in which Wickr was said to have responded to a search warrant, an FBI special agent testified in 2021 that Australian authorities observed Michael Glenn Whitmore of Anchorage, Alaska, in several groups of Wickr users trading and distributing child abuse material.
In one group, users commented on images of a 12-year-old, according to the complaint, and described in detail how they would abuse the child. The complaint said that he was part of at least five other Wickr groups they believed to be devoted to child exploitation.
According to the complaint, he admitted to sharing child sexual abuse material with “slightly less than 100 different people” using Wickr, among other apps
Whitmore has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. A representative for him did not respond to a request for comment.
The complaint noted that a search warrant was served on Wickr for information about the account, which resulted in just the date of creation, the type of device used, the number of messages sent and received, and the profile picture of the account, which was described as “an anime image of three children wearing only diapers.”
In its “Legal Process Guidelines,” Wickr is explicit about the limited amount of information it’s willing to provide law enforcement. Continue reading