[tor-project] April 2018 report for the Tor Browser team

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Tue May 8 13:05:00 UTC 2018

Hi all!

In April we shipped one Tor Browser alpha release, 8.0a6[1]. It contains
Tor to give the release candidate a wider testing and updates
a bunch of other components as well. It's the first alpha release using
GCC 6.4 for compiling Linux and Windows bundles, which is part of our
toolchain updates we plan to do for our switch to Firefox ESR60.

Non-release work in April concentrated on two areas: preparations for
our switch to Firefox 60 ESR and the first alpha for Tor Browser on
Android. For the former we rebased all our patches[2] and are currently
reviewing those changes. Furthermore, we got our build setup ready to
build Rust code[3] that comes with Firefox and started to look into
necessary updates for our own extensions, Torbutton and Tor Launcher[4].

We made progress on our Tor Browser for Android roadmap as well: we
updated the Orfox patches to make them ready for Firefox 61[5], which
the first alpha version will be based on. Additionally, we further
investigated possible proxy bypasses on mobile and the state of the
fingerprinting/linkability defenses we already have available on desktop.

The full list of tickets closed by the Tor Browser team in April is
accessible using the `TorBrowserTeam201804` keyword in our bug tracker.[6]

For May we'll focus on getting our toolchains ready for Tor Browser 8
and have nightly builds available, being able to test our changes
further. For that we plan to have our test suite functioning and adapted
to Firefox 60 ESR as well. Moreover, we'll do the necessary proxy safety
audit taking changes between Firefox 52 ESR and Firefox 60 ESR into
account[7] and start reviewing new features[8] to make sure we can patch
the code where needed.

For Tor Browser on Android we aim at having our mobile-specific patches
updated and available on a separate branch, following the regular
Firefox release cycle and fix as much proxy bypass problems and
fingerprinting/linkability issues as we can.

All tickets on our radar for this month can be seen with the
`TorBrowserTeam201805` keyword in our bug tracker.[9]


[1] https://blog.torproject.org/tor-browser-80a6-released
[2] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25543
[3] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25220 and child tickets
[4] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25750
[5] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25741
[7] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/22176
[8] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/22074

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