Ricochet or Ricochet IM is an open source, multi-platform, instant messaging software project originally developed by John Brooks and later adopted as the official instant messaging client project of the Invisible.im group. A goal of the Invisible.im group is to help people maintain privacy by developing a "metadata free" instant messaging client.
OverviewAnonymous instant messaging for real privacy
Ricochet is a different approach to instant messaging that doesn’t trust anyone in protecting your privacy.
- Eliminate metadata. Nobody knows who you are, who you talk to, or what you say.
- Stay anonymous. Share what you want, without sharing your identity and location.
- Nobody in the middle. There are no servers to monitor, censor, or hack.
- Safe by default. Security isn’t secure until it’s automatic and easy to use.
Ricochet links:Ricochet is a decentralized instant messenger, meaning there is no server to connect to and share metadata with. Further, using Tor (anonymity network), Ricochet starts a Tor hidden service locally on a person's computer and can only communicate with other Ricochet users who are also running their own Ricochet-created Tor hidden services. This way, Ricochet communication never leaves the Tor network. A user screen name (example: “ricochet:hslmfsg47dmcqctb“) is auto-generated upon first starting Ricochet; the first half of the screen name is the word "ricochet", with the second half being the address of the Tor hidden service. Before two Ricochet users can talk, at least one of them must privately or publicly share their unique screen name in some way.
- Ricochet users are not personally identifiable.
- Ricochet does not reveal user IP addresses or physical locations because of Tor.
- Message content is cryptographically authenticated and private.
- There is no need to register anywhere in order to use Ricochet, particularly with a fixed server.
- Contact list information is stored locally, and it would be very difficult for passive surveillance techniques to determine whom you're chatting with.
- Ricochet does not save chat history. When you close a conversation, the chat log is not recoverable.
- The use of Tor hidden services prevents network traffic from ever leaving the Tor network, thereby preserving anonymity and complicating passive network surveillance.
- Ricochet is a portable application, users do not need to install any software to use Ricochet. Ricochet connects to the Tor network automatically.
- Ricochet has not been subjected to an independent security audit.
- An already-compromised computer system will typically defeat the privacy protections that Ricochet offers, such as a keystroke logging malware.
- Even though Ricochet uses Tor, other applications will not be using Tor unless you've independently set up additional Tor services on your computer.
- Active and passive surveillance techniques can still tell if you're using the Internet, and when, but not necessarily what you're doing on the Internet.
- Since a Ricochet user does not register or log in anywhere to use Ricochet, not even with a password, it is important to implement layered physical security, including disk encryption, to protect Ricochet.
- Tails Linux users, and other live operating systems users, can optionally backup Ricochet to zero-knowledge cloud services such as SpiderOak, or on a personally owned USB drive (ideally encrypted).
https://ricochet.im/ - Ricochet web-site
https://github.com/ricochet-im/ricochet - Ricochet project site
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricochet_%28software%29 - Ricochet at Wikipedia
- Main window - - Settings window - How to use Ricochet as a portable program:
- On installation choose 'Extract (Portable)'
Ricochet is quite similar to TorChat which is in the database but seems to be abandoned. Its main disadvantage is that Ricochet cannot be minimized to tray (in contrast with TorChat)- I suggested this feature but never got a response from the developer. Ricochet doesn't offer statuses and doesn't save chat history. Although abandoned I still find TorChat better than Ricochet.