Mobile Tor

Brain Dump

  • OONI: mobile developer measurement team OONI mobile probe "network measurement"; 1-2 people working on it (fundish)
  • OnionShare: can we bring it to android and iOS?
  • Orfox: Tor Browser port to Android; maintenance is a challenge, keeping up with Tor Browser and Mozilla teams
  • Onion Browser: iOS is very special! working on compile/link obfs4proxy into browser on iOS
  • Orfox + Onion Browser + OnionShare today, need interop testing to be done
  • Propublic, FopF and other news links have .onion addresses that work on mobile - yay!
  • Onion Browser has a custom home page, and announcements page; should we do this for Orbot?
  • Need to coordinate with fundraising and news onions to provide default content
  • working on repro builds and testing usability; fdroid repro effort underway, in coordination with Guardian Project
  • interest in looking into new Android ROMs (cyanogen sucks, what else can we do?! Copperhead is cool!
  • people want to build or buy an android they can trust
  • NetCipher SDK aka Orbot/Tor integration into other apps is happening
  • Orbot will be reproducible soon
  • Orbot API Hidden Services Threat Modeling, Ephemeral Hidden Service coming
  • Pluggable Transport on Mobile are working
  • Devices as relays, bridges, etc for more capacity is something to investigate
  • Branding for mobile apps: how does trust move across platforms, influence each platform, target, independence vs orbot "Tor for iOS vs iCepa"
  • iCepa: using new iOS 9 APIs to make tor a VPN app, full system proxying but also providing app services (resolve onions, tor features); currently limited by 5MB heap memory

Things We Need

  • Browser

-- Lobby Apple with Mozilla to allow Gecko/Firefox on iOS; Should we wait for Servo (new Rust Mozilla browser) to make another push? --- We need a clear browser strategy on mobile in terms of what we can achieve; Android is closer, iOS is challenge, when it comes to a browser

  • Hardware

-- List of phones that we recommend, that are good, trusted hardware; broader effort to document, share mobile solutions -- Hardware partners that we promote/coordinate/partner? CopperheadOS on Nexus phones

  • Do we need more resources, lobbying on iOS front to get what we need?
  • Can we make Tor client only slimmer require less memory?
  • GSoC mobile iOS or OnionShare
  • work out a longer term funding stategy: maintenance of Orfox, browser, etc
  • Can Facebook support work on iCepa/iOS with code or money
  • Ricochet or Pond on mobile? Next-generation onion messaging; Pond works better due to store-and-forward; Ricochet works with background on Android

--- Ricochet add store-and-forward/queueing and mobile optimization

  • Do we need a Tor F-Droid repo?
  • Official endorsement of Android apps by the Tor Project; what do we need to do to make Orfox into Tor Browser?
  • Interop user experience: OnionShare links should work in Orfox and Onion Browser
  • need to finish Tor Button porting for Orfox
  • Tails ARM / x86 porting for Windows 10 mobile - seems to work, but still need a bigger "TAILS on Mobile" strategy

Future Big Ideas

  • More mobile developers than ever: - tor-mobile mailing list? #tor-mobile
  • Apples and Onions: Tor on iOS needs to be a thing: either easy apps or solutions or awareness
  • Mobile serverless messaging and file sharing via onions is also important
  • Branding and user experience overhaul: what do people want when they say they want Tor? Browser? VPN? Apps?
  • Reproducible Everywhere!
  • Tor on other devices: new partners making things like Copperhead, IoT hubs, etc


  • user experience challenges are still there
  • getting C, Rust, etc code running on mobile is interesting
Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Mar 8, 2016, 10:03:17 PM