rlsj - 2013-02-06

Trying to get secure IM with Pidgin between Linux and Windows: my distant friend is running Windows-XP and I am running Ubuntu 12.04, both with Pidgin 2.10.3 and the Pidgin Encryption plugin, Version 3.1, both using Hotmail Messenger to chat. The problem is that we can't tell if our exchange is being encrypted. We have enabled the encryption module under Pidgin "Plugins," but the chat window does not change. In particular it does not show the expected bar across the bottom, below the entry pane, supposed to contain lock icons.

While the Chat window is active, we have pulled down the menu, "Conversations," to "More ..." and found "Turn on Automatic Encryption." The only result from selecting this is that in subsequent pull-downs to "More..." it says "Turn Auto-Encrypt Off," which we take to mean that it is on. But is our conversation encrypted now? How can we tell?

Confidence in the encryption is important for political reasons. Thank you for your attention.

--Robert Smith