[tor-dev] Fwd: [guardian-dev] Orfox: first step towards Tor Browser on Android
nathan at freitas.net
Sun Nov 24 04:28:22 UTC 2013
First small step towards a true Tor Browser on Android.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [guardian-dev] Orfox: first step towards Tor Browser on Android
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2013 23:18:30 -0500
From: Nathan of Guardian <nathan at guardianproject.info>
To: Guardian Dev <guardian-dev at lists.mayfirst.org>
Since Android 4.4 replaced the guts of the WebView component with
Chrome, and there is no apparent way to set a proxy anymore (even
through tricks like reflection), I decided to accelerate our move
towards an entirely new approach to privacy-enhanced browsing.
I discovered two projects that provide a full standalone browser
component that you can embed in an app.
ChromeView, based on Chromium, and very much a drop-in replacement for
GeckoView, Mozilla's own attempt to turn their browser engine into an
Android developer component:
I started with ChromeView, but got stuck just trying to get it to run.
Both approaches require some strange use of putting .so and .pak
binaries into asset folders and such. I don't entirely understand why yet.
I ended up getting the GeckoView project's GeckoBrowser sample running
easily, and very quickly, started hacking in all the privacy-enhancing
Firefox "about:config" preferences I know. All the SOCKS and HTTP
proxying stuff works well, and I have even gotten to a fairly decent
report back on ip-check.info in terms of cookies, referrals,
You can find the repo here, if you want to build and try yourself. No
binaries posted yet:
I am aiming to do a release fairly quickly, at least for the Android 4.4
users who are currently left in a lurch.
Otherwise, if anyone wants to help build the best, most secure and
privacy-enhancing mobile browser in the world, what we need to do from
1) Start building the GeckoView library from source ourselves, and
figure out which components we really need. It is very bloated, and the
current APK is humongous.
2) Re-implement Orweb's various preferences into the new Orfox app, so
and so forth.
3) Connect with Mike Perry of Tor Project and start figuring out how the
Firefox patches / modifications he makes for Tor Browser can be applied
to the GeckoView builds.
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