In todays climate of privacy mania, I find it quite interesting that AOL would change their terms of service to eliminate any possiblity of a right to privacy when using their AIM chat service …
Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.
I tend to chat a lot on the AIM network (using GAIM, and there’s no way I want to explicitly give AOL the right to the contents of my chats. Not that I discuss anything earth shattering, but some conversations are on the more private side.
An option, of course, would be to use the GAIM encryption plugin.