Instantbird, open source messaging app, Tor

Encryption and security are more important today than any other time in our history. When we’re calling or messaging through our favorite applications, we may be providing a 3rd party with information about us without our knowledge or consent.

There have been attempts in the past at curving this concern. CoverMe launched its encrypted calling and messaging application back in November and Tor is also making its own secure instant messaging app.

Tor’s app will automatically route encrypted messages through its anonymous network

Tor’s app will be available for the desktop and will automatically route encrypted messages through its anonymous network. The Tor Instant Messaging Bundle (TIMB) will be built on open-source messenger Instantbird, which is based on Mozilla’s XULrunner cross-platform runtime environment.

In planning since last July, the TIMB is still in its early stages, but should be available in experimental builds by the end of March, based on a roadmap published in conjunction with the Tor Project’s Winter Dev meeting in Iceland.

“Off the record” (OTR) mode planned for future releases of the TIMB

“Off the record” (OTR) mode won’t be ready in time for the experimental release, but Tor is working to make the tech be available in subsequent versions of the app. OTR mode encrypts traffic further and uses an exchange of digital signatures to verify the identity of each party. These signatures are not viewable by third parties and can’t be used to identify subjects outside the messaging session.

Tor also wants to have the app translated into a number of different languages to make it more accessible to users from all different regions.

Avatar photo

By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at