timps is an (optionally transparent) proxy server targeted at instant
messaging networks -- particularly AOL's Instant Messenger. One of the more
important features is that when multiple users are connected through the
proxy, messages between those users are kept in the local network and not
routed across the internet. Multiple proxies can be connected together to form
trusted networks for secure message routing. The proxy can also be used for
connecting artificial users, such as interactive agents / bots without rate
limiting. More generically, modules can be written that interact at any stage
of message routing, creating a flexible system for developing applications
with and on IM.
Since timps speaks the IM protocols natively (ie, it looks like an IM server),
DNS rerouting or other tricks can be used to invisibly force users through the
proxy. This is particularly useful for companies facing auditing compliance on
employee communications (for example, Sarbanes-Oxley for financial companies,
or normal policy for law firms).