Chapter 4d. Using the IRC and HexChat
The Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is one of the best available technologies for real time group
conversations. Numerous different IRC networks exist that cater to multiple general interests to
incredibly niche interests. However, it is also a technology where a number of people who are
concerned about their privacy or anonymity have gotten exploited or have shot themselves in the
foot. This chapter will give you basic instructions on how to get started safely using the IRC.
HexChat is a graphical IRC client that comes pre-installed with Whonix. As a result, most
of the settings that leave people vulnerable have been appropriately set by the Whonix developers.
Additionally, since all of your traffic is routed through the Tor network, this adds another layer of
security and anonymity to your IRC experience that simply didn't exist in the past. However, one
down side is that a number of IRC servers have intentionally blocked any incoming connections
from Tor. Circumventing the Tor blocking measures is a trivial task, but not a matter that will be
covered in this chapter. Instead, let's get you on a server that welcomes and embraces the Tor
Network where you can chat with us.
1. First, double-click on the “HexChat IRC” icon on the Desktop.