[tor-dev] Tor for iOS via official channels

Linas Valiukas shirshegsm at gmail.com
Sun Mar 18 13:42:33 UTC 2012


I was thinking about a GSoC 2012 project I could propose, and I came to the question of why there's no Tor iOS (iPhone / iPad / iPod touch) application distributed on the official iTunes App Store?

There's this "test package" of Tor for iOS available [1], but it has to be installed via Cydia and not everyone's phone is jailbroken. Distributing an application via the App Store has some benefits of its own too (additional marketing and visibility, easier installation, to name a few).

So, what is the problem?

* Would it comply with the iOS Developer Program License Agreement? I'm no lawyer, but last I read the document there's nothing in it that would prevent distributing an app which would create a "local" HTTP proxy to be used by the other applications.

* Since the iPhone 3GS, the applications can retain running in the background, so I guess we're fine on the purely technical side too.

* There are US Export laws that require a so-called CCATS review and approval to be done with each application that employs strong encryption. I don't think that's a blocker though.

* Maybe that Tor iOS application wouldn't reach various "interesting" markets such as PRC (for example, a commercial yet pricy "Covert Browser" [2] is not available in China's App Store) because of the legal restrictions. Still, I would argue that it is worth having such an application.


[1]: http://sid77.slackware.it/ios/
[2]: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/covert-browser/id477438328?mt=8

Linas Valiukas
+370 687 65870

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