Last Thursday, the Tor Project announced the release of Tor Messenger (beta version), open-source instant messenger client for those that are concerned about surveillance and privacy. The app, which was being worked on for a long time, is designed for privacy by default. The easy-to-use message client integrates OTR (off-the-record) protocol for encrypting messages and routing them as seamlessly over Tor Network as web data is transferred by the Tor Browser. Tor Messenger’s beta version is available for Mac, Windows, and both 32-bit as well as 64-bit Linux.
Tor Messenger is compatible with the “Jabber” or XMPP chat protocol used by Google and Facebook accounts and desktop clients such as Pidgin for Windows and Adium for Mac. In addition, the beta client supports Twitter, IRC, Yahoo, and others. The app can be downloaded in seconds and users can start shooting messages to their existing contacts. The messages will be strongly encrypted and tunneled through the maze of Tor’s volunteer computers available worldwide in order to hide the IP address of the sender. All said and done, Tor Messenger is all set to become not only a popular, but also a powerful way of sending surveillance-resistant messages instantaneously.
Kate Krauss said about the Tor Messenger in message to WIRED that a user’s chat is encrypted and remains anonymous, hidden from snoops, irrespective of whether the snoopers are companies trying to sell products to them or governmental agencies of foreign countries. She also said that users are not required to rebuild their contacts lists as the program makes use of the pre-existing chat protocol. Users have to just use their Jabber
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