While browsing through the roadmap for the next GNOME release (2.20) I continued on and spotted that there is a plan to add an encryption plugin for Pidgin in GNOME 2.22.
This is great news for anybody that values the security and privacy of their instant messaging passwords.
One of the common arguments made by the Gaim/Pidgin developers that by its very nature, an IM password was a throw-away commodity. This may be true, but in Sun (and countless other companies) we have a unified username and password for all services, including IM. Suddenly the plain-text password in your home directory looks less satisfactory.
Anyway, you can read more about the roadmap at http://live.gnome.org/RoadMap