[tor-dev] The future of GetTor

ilv ilv at riseup.net
Mon Jun 15 23:14:54 UTC 2015

Hi people,

I'm currently the maintainer of GetTor [1], and together with Nima and
Sukhbir we have been talking about the future of it. First, let me
present you what is (roughly) the current status of GetTor:

  * We send links to download Tor Browser, along with its signature
file. These files are stored on Dropbox. I will be working on integrate
new cloud/hosting services during Summer of Privacy.

  * We send these links via email. I will be working on new modules to
send links via chat (XMPP) and Twitter (DM) during Summer of Privacy.

  * We send links to download the English (US) package of Tor Browser. I
will be working on support for more locales during Summer of Privacy.

That is what we have now. Is not much, but it works (more info in [1]).

So, what about it? Software evolves, and we think it might be the time
of GetTor to go beyond its current design. Moreover, we have received
valid concerns that emails could be tampered and users could get
malicious versions of Tor Browser (although we have no evidence that
this is happening). Right now, when you get the Tor Browser via this
method is up to you to verify its integrity.

With this in mind, we have been discussing about the idea of having a
signed and verified distributor app (desktop), available on official
channels (OSX app store, Google Chrome store, etc), which could ease the
process of downloading and verifying the integrity of Tor Browser. In
other words, a user should be able to download and make sure it has the
right file with just a few clicks. However, we have different thoughts
on how this should work:

 * Option 1: GetTor should work as a backend and have an API. The
distributor (and even other apps) would send queries to this API asking
for links. The problem with this is that if Tor Project's website is
blocked, is quite possible that the API would be blocked too (e.g.

 * Option 2: The distributor is in charge of presenting various
alternatives to the user and getting the files directly from the
cloud/hosting services.

So, the purpose of this email is to get feedback from the community, and
my specific questions to you people are the following:

 1) What do you think of the distributor idea? It is something you or
others would want?

 2) In case we develop the distributor, should the email autoresponder

 3) If you agree on developing the distributor, what option you think
would fit better? (please suggest better options)

I would really love to hear your comments about this idea, my work at
Summer of Privacy might change depending on this discussion, so please
feel free to express your feelings about it :)

Thanks for your time!

[1] https://www.torproject.org/projects/gettor.html.en
[2] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/roadmaps/GetTor


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