Tor Messenger which never went out of Beta is dead

The Tor project decided to kill it’s own Tor Messenger. The official page says ‘do not use the messenger because it’s no longer supported’. The project was launched back in 2014/2015 in the hope of improving security for social networks’ messaging services

tor-messenger

Tor Messenger based on Instantbird

At the first launch in 2015 Tor advanced Messenger stated that it’s a replacement for multi-protocol chat clients like Adium, Miranda and Pidgin. The project’s master-plan was to route messages sent using XMPP, IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter and Yahoo! through its deliberately-confusing labyrinth in order to enhance users’ privacy.

The decision to shut down the project was not easy for Tor because they put already a lot of effort into the Messenger, sadly it suffered from the problem that it leaked several metadata based on the old code from Instantbird. Among the data leakage problem the project already had a manpower problem straight from the beginning, a lot of problems with only a handful developer.

We still believe in Tor’s ability to be used in a messaging app, but sadly, we don’t have the resources to make it happen right now….

It’s unclear if the project gets a reboot one day or not, sounds like this goodbye is forever. The problem in the meantime also is that several other messengers are already providing end-to-end encryption and it’s hard to bring several protocols under one GUI which doesn’t expose your identity since every protocol has it’s weaknesses.

Closing Words

What a shame, I had several hopes to see something which is truly anonym but seems this is still a dream. The project wasn’t only about to hide you from NSA & Co, moreover, it was designed to provide anonymity for the user. This is a much harder problem than just implementing end-to-end encryption on top of a centralized service. It requires not sharing or leaking, any metadata to any party not directly involved a communication. Seems the challenge was too big even for the Tor project. ohmy

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