ATHiCC: An Anonymous, Asynchronous, Serverless Instant Messaging Protocol

AbstractInstant messaging has become a main form of communication between people. The ability to instantly send messages to each other, even when the recipient is offline, has become second nature and is taken for granted in modern society. However, this is not without a cost. In the case of instant messaging, that cost is privacy. Service providers use centralized servers to store these messages and can collect information using the messages ‘Metadata’ or even read the contents of messages. This paper presents a novel protocol, ATHiCC (Asynchronous Tor Hidden Chat Communication) that allows private and anonymous communication that doesn't require a server, and yet is still able to support asynchronous communication. A simulator was implemented to test the protocol and performance under various network conditions and topologies. The results of the simulation predict high delivery rates and low delays in message delivery under most conditions, even in small network topologies.

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