Today we are releasing a new, beta version of Tor Messenger, based on Instantbird, an instant messaging client developed in the Mozilla community.
What is it?
Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat program that aims to be secure by default and sends all of its traffic over Tor. It supports a wide variety of transport networks, including Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter, Yahoo, and others; enablesOff-the-Record (OTR) Messaging automatically; and has an easy-to-use graphical user interface localized into multiple languages.
What it isn’t…
Tor Messenger builds on the networks you are familiar with, so that you can continue communicating in a way your contacts are willing and able to do. This has traditionally been in a client-server model, meaning that your metadata (specifically the relationships between contacts) can be logged by the server. However, your route to the server will be hidden because you are communicating over Tor.
We are also excited about systems like Pond and Ricochet, which try to solve this problem, and would encourage you to look at their designs and use them too.
Today we are releasing a beta version with which we hope to gain both usability and security related feedback. There have been three previous alpha releases to the mailing lists that have already helped smooth out some of the rougher edges.
sha256sums.txt file containing hashes of the bundles is signed with the key
3A0B 3D84 3708 9613 6B84 5E82 6887 935A B297 B391).
We are doing automated builds of Tor Messenger for all platforms.
The Linux builds are reproducible: anyone who builds Tor Messenger for Linux should have byte-for-byte identical binaries compared with other builds from a given source. You can build it yourself and let us know if you encounter any problems or cannot match our build. The Windows and OS X builds are not completely reproducible yet but we areworking on it.
What’s to Come
Our current focus is security, robustness and user experience. We will be fixing bugs and releasing updates as appropriate, and in the future, we plan on pairing releases with Mozilla’s Extended Support Release (ESR) cycle. We have some ideas on where to take Tor Messenger but we would like to hear what you have to say. Some possibilities include:
How To Help
Give it a try and provide feedback, requests, and file bugs (choose the “Tor Messenger” component). If you are a developer, help us close all our tickets or help us review ourdesign doc. As always, we are idling on IRC in #tor-dev (OFTC) (nicks: arlolra; boklm; sukhe) and subscribed to the tor-talk/dev mailing lists.
Please note that this release is for users who would like to help us with testing the product but at the same time who also understand the risks involved in using beta software.
Thanks and we hope you enjoy Tor Messenger!