It's a good week for vegetable bulbs—if they're encrypted on the web, that is. The same week Tor's ".onion" domain was anonymized (i.e., all sites ending in the name of the full-flavored, edible bulb will now be taken off the public Internet) by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for users of the encrypted routing system, the secret-keeping network has announced the release of its new off-the-record messenger service.

Called Tor Messenger, the beta chat system is based on the free-for-download cross-platform instant messenger Instantbird, due to the latter software's overall versatility, including protocols like TCP/IP and OSI that are written in JavaScript, a memory-safe language, and the ability to switch the said interface to support a wide berth of languages for international users. 

But don't think that just because the Tor Messenger beta is an OTR (off-the-record) offline service that it can be used for purposes that fall along the lines of dark web activity. Unlike the dark web, whose pages and other sundry online "business"—which are usually typified by more categories—Tor Messenger remains an anonymous chatting platform by sending IMs to and fro through a number of different routers, making them difficult (if not almost impossible) to trace.

As mentioned, the software is still in beta, but won't be for long—after the Tor Messenger programmers tinker with the IM's security settings, an official version will be released. Anticipated features include OTR direct messages through Twitter, encrypted file transfers, sandboxing, automatic updates, and more.

Via: BBC News

Photo: Mats Hagwal | Flickr 

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