My brother Justin pointed me to Thrashing Through Cyperspace, which has a very interesting post on AOL now giving itself permission to basically use anything from your “private” conversations on AIM for its own purposes. Basically, the end of whatever privacy there was with AIM.

I wonder if this will make encryption become more common place with Instant Messaging clients. The sad thing though is that there are millions of computer users that use AIM without knowing about the alternatives. That also makes it pretty slim for me to find another person to chat with that actually has encryption working on their end as well.

Will there be a backlash against AOL for this move? Of course. The question is, how big will it get? While there are many bloggers who are up in arms about this, will your typical internet user who uses AIM give a damn? I doubt it if they are even lucky to understand what it means.

We need a Firefox of IM clients created. One with usability and security in mind first, not last. Encryption automatically of all conversations. All of the common features for IM. Gaim isn’t there yet, Trillian isn’t there yet (although that is my client of choice at the present).

This crap has to stop.

2 thoughts on “New AIM TOS

  1. Trillian supports SecureIM which would make it difficult for AOL to eavesdrop on your conversations. I’m not sure if Gaim or any other clients are compatible with it though. It works over AIM and ICQ and allows all conversations to be 128-bit secured between clients.

  2. Funny, I just enabled SecureIM on my copy of Trillian. From what I understand, it is not compatible with other IM clients like Gaim as the way they use encryption is different.

    Part of the whole problem here is there is no standard encryption that everyone can rely on. At best, I have to hope my IM contacts are all Trillian users. That gives me a nice warm feeling inside.

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