The Tor project have announced that they plan to release their new anonymous instant messenger on 15th July.
Tor Instant Messaging Bundle (TIMB) has been in development since late last year and was originally due to be released by 31st March, but the release date has repeatedly been pushed back, first to 15th May and now to mid-July.
This will only be an early release and will serve as a proof of concept, allowing users to give feedback.
But the early release will not offer all the security properties of the final bundle.
TIMB is being built using Instantbird, an open-source messenger client and will be bundled with the general Tor Launcher in the following months.
The developers have said that the delays are due to implementing off-the-record messaging (OTR) into the new messenger.
OTR is a strong encryption protocol used for instant-messaging conversations and is essential to the security of TIMB.
Just like the Tor browser, TIMB will hide the user’s identity and location and off-the-record chatting will hide the contents of the messages from any potential eavesdroppers, weather it’s hackers or law enforcement.
Further down the line, the Tor development team plan to hire independent security experts to trawl through the TIMB application so that “people in countries where communication for the purpose of activism is met with intimidation, violence, and prosecution will be able to avoid the scrutiny of criminal cartels, corrupt officials, and authoritarian governments.”
Once TIMB has been officially launched and is a fully secure product, it’s likely that it will become the instant messenger of choice for the millions of Tor users rivaling TorChat and other similar applications.
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