The program is a ‘friendly’ fork of the Gaim project. In case you are wondering what a fork is, a project fork or branch happens when a developer (or a group of them) takes a copy of source code from one software package and starts to independently develop a new package.
The software itself is pretty cool, but its likely to come under heavy fire from various govt and ‘spy’ agencies because the design of the software makes it really hard for anyone to eavesdrop on anyone. They will claim that this will allow terrorists and child pornographers to communicate anonymously.
It might be used by a terrorist but then so can a car (used as a getaway vehicle), a cell phone (used as a communication tool), watch (to sync timed attacks)… does this mean all of them should be banned as well? Any technology developed can be used for good as well as bad purposes.. starting with fire all the way upto a nuclear reaction… now that the genie is out of the bottle you can’t stuff it back in.
I think it will be useful for all sorts of people including:
Spies, to let them communicate with the home office, report anonymously
Corporate whistle blowers: they can report wrongs/broken laws without getting into trouble
People behind the great firewall of china, where you can be arrested for disagreeing with the government.
Check out the software: ScatterChat
Thanks to Schneier on Security for the link.
PS: I haven’t tried the software yet so don’t know how stable it is. Though I will be installing it shortly so will let you know how it goes.