[tor-dev] Tor for iOS via official channels

Nathan Freitas nathan at freitas.net
Sun Mar 18 14:17:12 UTC 2012

Afaik, there are no long running background processes available to run a standalone tor process. Covert Browser works because it is integrated in one app/process. Maybe the VPN service model would work though.

Otherwise, I agree something should be done, even if it is only an open-source version of Covert Browser. At Guardian Project, we have plenty of iOS experience but we just loath having to pay Apple $99 a year to have the privilege of developing with their closed source IDE only on MacOS.

One should also look at why VLC is not in the app store - there was a conflict with GPL I believe.


"Fabio Pietrosanti (naif)" <lists at infosecurity.ch> wrote:

On 3/18/12 2:42 PM, Linas Valiukas wrote:
> Hello, 
> 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.

It would add that it would be interesting to provide Tor integration to
all iPhone iOS applications.

While this could not be done by operating a SOCKS server locally because
iPhone doesn't support to configure a Socks Server for iOS sockets.

But iPhone let configure VPN using PPTP and L2TP protocol.

Why not running within a Tor for iPhone also a local PPTP or L2TP daemon
that's hooked to "SOCKSIFY" all connections of the Phone via Tor?

A sort of PPTP-to-SOCKS-to-Tor integrated, to provide trasparent secure
browsing for iOS applications.


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