Warning to AOL Instant Messenger Users

Originally Posted By: Webmaster
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

To those of you who use AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), please be aware of the following addition to the AIM Terms of Service ( http://www.aim.com/tos/tos.adp ):

In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

Essentially AOL (and others) can reproduce anything you send through their AIM service in any medium.

As a precaution, I would HIGHLY recommend using a 3rd party instant messenger client that provides data encryption. My personal favorite is Trillian ( http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/ ), which provides a "SecureIM" connection with all other Trillian users. It also lets you connect to MSN, Yahoo, IRC, ICQ, and more all with the same program.

I would hope that no one has been using an IM service for sensitive information, but there's a lot of stuff that I send over an instant message network that I wouldn't want to show up on a billboard.

Chris Morrell
Director of Information Technology