AOL Blocks Interoperability Between Jabber Servers and AIM, and Respond

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Mar 24, 2001

On Monday, America Online (AOL) began blocking interoperability between its own instant messaging service and the servers at and The two groups have responded, calling for the company to reconsider. America Online has blocked interoperability between its own instant messaging service and the servers at and The two groups have responded, calling for the company to reconsider. writes:

"It began Monday, when the IPs of some of the larger Jabber servers offering the AIM Transport as a feature (such as and found their IP addresses firewalled from the AIM login servers. After discovering this, it took only minutes to move to another IP, but then it seemed that something had changed at the protocol level and AIM logins were being disconnected abruptly. The AIM Transport was quickly updated to correct the login block and service was restored. This happened again Tuesday and Wednesday, with more relocations and updates to fix new incompatibilities as they appeared. The service is currently working on, and should work fine for any other independent server installation using the AIM Transport."

"What's troubling about these events is that, these are AIM/AOL users who have chosen to use alternate software to access only their valid account. This software is open source and accessible to anyone, poses no security risks and operates identically to an official AIM client. Jabber is not competing with AIM and simply trying to offer users a basic freedom to control and choose their software and service providers."

Complete Response has also weighed in:

"AOL has in the past blocked entities wishing to provide network interoperability, so it comes as no surprise that interoperability with Jabber would not be treated any differently. The exception to this is that Jabber is the only open source, world-wide, multi-industry, multi-company consortium building an open protocol system for IM and Jabber represents many different businesses and business models, many of which do not compete in any way with the AIM service."

"...As hopefully you know by now, believes that IM will proliferate in much the same way that the industry adopted email (SMTP) server technology. As a result, is focused on becoming the premiere provider of commercially supported instant messaging software and solutions, and our Jabber server running at was never more than a well run demonstration of what Jabber can do for others."

"Interoperability has been, and continues to be a large part of the value of Jabber and the open source movement continues to do a superb job at bridging new messaging networks and devices. In just under 11 months, the Jabber network has grown to well over 30,000 Jabber servers (a 100% increase in less than 60 days), 1,500 developers, 300 projects and 30 IM clients. I think it is fair to say that Jabber may well be the largest and fastest growing IM network in existence, with more deployed servers and clients, running on more platforms and devices than any other IM system."

Complete Response

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