I'm attending a graduate level model politics event that is VERY cut-throat. Model legislation is frequently stolen (digitally or the old fashioned way), and this is all an accepted aspect of the simulation. Anything goes. It means that keeping digital legislation protected locally is very important - and I'm fairly set in that regard (using TruCrypt, and some other tools)
Traditionally, communication within the simulation was entirely written, which added an old-school level of espionage to the event. Now we're starting to see the use of laptops in-session, and a lot of the communication is moving towards digital/wireless means.
Specifically I have two related questions:
1) On an unsecured (or rather, un-encrypted, but browser-login) wifi network, my traffic is sent clear-text, and can be sniffed by anyone in range. Does anyone know of an IM client or other direct peer-to-peer chat client that adds its own layer of encryption? Something like connecting to a VPN is not preferable, because anyone that I'd like to communicate with in the room would need to connect through it as well, or we've defeated the purpose.
2) Flip-side of my concern. Is there a specific piece of software that I can use to sniff and interpret traffic on the fly, and reassemble the multitude of different traffic it might see? I would probably encounter typical IM traffic (AOL, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo) as well as browser based communication (Facebook, Hotmail) and POP3/IMAP. Sniffing is no problem, but I've never run into a good tool that can make sense of all the different data quickly, and display it in a mannor that is digestable in such a fast-paced environment.
Again, if you feel that question 2 is inappropriate from a newcomer on this forum, I would understand completely.