AOL Spikes Trillian Users
People who use
Trillian is a
AOL, however, isn't impressed. The company has engaged Trillian's makers in an ongoing game of cat and mouse--disconnecting or barring users when possible--for weeks.
It goes like this: AIM engineers build a block that stops Trillian users from connecting to the service. Then, often the same day, engineers at Cerulean post a patch to work around the block. Devout Trillian users download the patch from Trillian's Web site and reconnect to the service. Within a few days, another round of the game begins.
Friday, AOL appeared to take another step. AIM engineers blocked access, and then sent Trillian users a tersely worded statement:
"You have been disconnected from the AOL Instant Message Service for accessing the AOL network using unauthorized software. You can download a FREE, fully featured, and authorized client, here http://www.aol.com/aim/dow."
"This is nothing new, and this is not about interoperability," says Kathy McKiernan, AOL spokesperson. "This is about a company releasing software that hacks into our system, endangering the security of that system and our users."
McKiernan says AOL understands its AIM customers would like to
communicate with users of other services, and says the company is working to
make that possible. AOL has
In fact, some sort of interoperability was
AOL has a policy of blocking other instant messaging systems, however.
McKiernan also notes that Trillian does not operate its own service or network, and she says people who think Cerulean Studios has a contract with AOL are mistaken.
"There is no business agreement between our company and Trillian," she says. "To the extent that that is being implied, it's not correct."
Cerulean Studios Cofounder Scott Werndorfer issued his own terse reply when contacted by e-mail about AOL's actions Friday.
"We are aware of the problem and are actively working to fix it. We have received no communication from AOL at this time," Werndorfer says.
Werndorfer didn't respond to further queries about the situation. However, late in the day Friday, AOL was still disconnecting Trillian users from the AIM service and issuing the same note.
And users can expect continued resistance from AOL, McKiernan says.
"Our policy, as it has always been, is to block those hacking into our system."