Tor Messenger makes chatting off the record easier

Tor has finally released a beta version of the cross-platform chat program it's been working on for quite a while. The client works with several chat services/protocols such as Jabber, IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter and Yahoo, but its main draw is definitely the privacy features Tor is famous for. It uses Off-the-Record (OTR) protocol to encrypt your IMs, which pass through Tor's network of volunteer computers for security and anonymity. According to Wired, it even has chat logging disabled as a default setting. "With Tor Messenger, your chat is encrypted and anonymous... so it is hidden from snoops, whether they are the government of a foreign country or a company trying to sell you boots," Kate Krauss, the company's public policy director, told the publication.

The messenger imports your contacts from the services you use, so you don't have to re-add your friends again upon installing it on a Linux, a Mac or a Windows computer. Take note, however, that your messages will not go through if the other party isn't using an OTR-enabled client, as well. You can disable that setting, but Tor doesn't recommend doing so, because that kinda defeats the purpose of chatting on the secure messenger in the first place.