The Tor Instant Messaging Bundle plans to do what their Tor browser already does for web surfing, encrypt and hide instant messaging from prying eyes, including NSA. It will route encrypted messages through Tor hidden servers just like the browser does, NSA hates Tor because they can’t break into it.
It’s a measure of Tor’s reliability that a secret NSA presentation — labeled “top secret” — sports the title “Tor Stinks.” The presentation reads, “We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time,” and adds, “With manual analysis we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users.” But that de-anonymization, to date, appears to have been random. Notably, the agency reports no success at unmasking the identity — in response to a specific intelligence or law enforcement demand — of a specific requested Tor user.
The Tor IM bundle will be able to use multiple chat clients, then send the messages through the hidden servers. The first public beta is planned for this month.