Tox began a few years ago, in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks regarding NSA spying activity. The idea was to create an instant messaging protocol that ran without any kind of central servers. The system would be distributed, peer-to-peer, and encrypted end-to-end, with no way to disable any of the encryption features; at the same time, the protocol would be easily usable by the layperson with no practical knowledge of cryptography or distributed systems. Work began during the Summer of 2013 by a single anonymous developer (who continues, to this day, to remain anonymous). This lone developer put together a library implementing the Tox protocol. The library provides all of the messaging and encryption facilities, and is completely decoupled from any user-interface; for an end-user to make use of Tox, they need a Tox client. Fast-forward a few years to today, and there exist several independent Tox client projects, and the original Tox core library implementation is nearing completion (in terms of features). Tox (both core and clients) has thousands of users, hundreds of contributors, and the project shows no sign of slowing down. Recently, a group of some of the project's major contributors have formed The Tox Project, an organization built around the protection, promotion, and advancement of Tox and its development.
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