Media conglomerate AOL-TW has blocked access to its instant messenging service from one of the most popular access clients, Trillian. Trillian offers Windows users an all-in-one client which provides access to the AOL, ICQ, Microsoft Messenger and Yahoo! Instant messanger networks, alongside IRC.
Much like its excellent Mac OS X counterpart Fire, Trillian's become wildly popular amongst IM regulars, as it offers the convenience of a sleek single interface onto the various networks - without the ads. But Cerulean Studios, which makes Trillian, has a few other tricks up its sleeve, and the threat was recognized earlier this week.
AOL blocked SecureIM access from Trillian clients on Monday, although Cerulean appears to have circumvented the latest block with version 0.721 of its client software, released today.
SecureIM allows two Trillian users to communicate using strong, 128-bit blowfish encryption across both AOL and ICQ networks. And that's something AOL can't, or daren't offer.
We're not quite sure how often AOL will feel obliged to flex its muscles in this fashion, but it probably feels it has carte blanche: the subject was raised, and dismissed when the FTC considered the AOL-TW merger. ®