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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:44 pm
by virtual_master
It seems that Torsion have changed their their project name to Ricochet. Probably to avoid problems with the Tor developers.
TorChat and jTorChat seems to be inactive sins 2 years.
But the must interesting is following:
Ricochet alias Torsion development has another site also and their is something about the Tor IM project
Q: Why Ricochet?

A: There have been many attempts to create an anonymous messaging platform, but some are definitely better than others. We believe Ricochet is by far the best-designed and implemented attempt.

The Tor project has launched an instant messenger project that uses the anonymity network to make instant messenger chats a lot safer. It's an excellent start, but doesn't solve the key problem we're setting out to solve -- incriminating metadata trails.

The Tor IM bundle will still rely on third-party messaging servers to relay messages. This means there will be a record of conversations having occurred on a third-party server. While it would theoretically be possible to use this technology to establish a secure and anonymous session, both parties to any chat using this tech would have to be using ephemeral identities to stay completely safe. We don't think that's practical, so we've taken a different approach.

Under the Tor project's model:

Every user will still need a registered IM account with an IM provider like AOL, Yahoo, MSN, GChat, Jabber etc.
User activity (metadata) still logged by IM service operators.
Oppressive regimes can use an IM username as a selector, not just an IP address.
If a user is tied to their IM pseudonym there's still a metadata trail a mile long.
So they are saying that by the Tor IM project
there will be a record of conversations having occurred on a third-party server

Re: TorIM and TorChat

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:58 pm
by biolizard89
That's correct, the project that the Tor Project devs are working on doesn't hide metadata the way that Ricochet and TorChat do. For this reason I think Ricochet (or something similar) is the way forward. However, the Ricochet model doesn't scale as well, because if everyone who uses IM created a .onion service for their username, the Tor hidden service directories would effectively be DoSed. There's ongoing work at Tor to improve scalability of hidden services, but I don't think it's getting as much attention as it deserves (maybe due to lack of funding?).