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Tox

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Tox is an instant messaging project originating from /g/ that was made to offer a replacement for Skype. The Toxcore is library capable of transferring messages and 'befriending' users in a completely decentralized and encypted way. There are currently multiple clients with graphical interfaces in development. The project is still in its pre-alpha stages.

Background

Shortly after the release of documents by Edward Snowden detailing government dragnet surveillance, many users on /g/ felt that something needed to be done to escape government surveillance. Overall, users felt trapped, and desired a way to communicate without being watched. Eventually, a concensus was reached that communicating through current platforms, such as Skype, was inherently insecure, and new software would have to be developed for this secure communication.

Participation of Non-/g/

The core of Tox was created by mostly /g/, but many other communities and boards were involved. /gd/ created much of the design of Tox.

Features

Current

As of today, Tox supports sending of files, group chats, and of course instant messaging with saved contacts.

Proposed

The most important feature in the works is audio and video chat. Other proposed features include:

  • Signing into Tox from multiple computers
  • Securing usernames
  • Easier group chat
  • Improving the DHT backbone

Miscellaneous Information

  • Tox IRC:
    • #tox on irc.freenode.net
    • #tox-dev on irc.freenode.net (specifically developer)
  • Group Chat ID's
    • Groupbot: 56A1ADE4B65B86BCD51CC73E2CD4E542179F47959FE3E0E21B4B0ACDADE5185520B3E6FC5D64

Criticism

Tox has received a lot of criticism for originally implementing non-standard encryption and being difficult to use. Although claimed by developers to be easy to use for anyone, Tox suffers from overengineering. Clients have many layers of abstraction copied from Skype which makes it difficult to audit and to submit pull requests. Overall, however, clients have a very good ease of use and look aesthetically pleasing.

External Links