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Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That's Not Controlled by Microsoft

September 2, 2014 | Telepresence Options

Tox

Story and images by Klint Finley / Wired

The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it's also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA's mass surveillance program.

When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA's activities last year, members of the site's tech forum started talking about the need for a more secure alternative to Skype. Soon, they'd opened a chat room to discuss the project and created an account on the code hosting and collaboration site GitHub and began uploading code.

Eventually, they settled on the name Tox, and you can already download prototypes of the surprisingly easy-to-use tool. The tool is part of a widespread effort to create secure online communication tools that are controlled not only by any one company, but by the world at large--a continued reaction to the Snowden revelations. This includes everything from instant messaging tools to email services.

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