[tor-project] September 2019 report for the Tor Browser Team

Pili Guerra pili at torproject.org
Tue Oct 8 10:16:01 UTC 2019

Hi everyone!

During September, the team has been busy at work on the ESR68 Transition as we work towards our first 9.0 stable release later on in October.

During this period we have made three releases: Tor Browser 8.5.5[1], 9.0a6[2], and 8.5.6[3].

The first release incorporated a number of important security updates[4] to Firefox and was expected to be the last release in the 8.5 series. However, due to an issue with the aarch64 version on Android which was causing a crash on every launch[5] we had to release 8.5.6 for Android only the following week.

As for the 9.0 series, we shipped our first alpha release based on Firefox 68 ESR at the start of the month. September also marked the sunsetting of Orfox[6] with a final update[7] pointing users to download Tor Browser for Android as the definite way to take advantage of the full protections Tor Browser offers, on Android.

Other than that, we are finally done adapting our Linux and Windows toolchains for Firefox 68 ESR. We have also made some strides in getting our bundles to build reproducibly and hope to work on Android build reproducibility during October. Another important piece of work during September involved making Tor Browser on macOS compatible with Apple's notarization process[8] and we have started rolling out these changes with the alpha series at the beginning of October.

The full list of tickets closed by the Tor Browser team in September is accessible using the `TorBrowserTeam201909`[9] keyword in our bug tracker.

During October we are working hard towards our first 9.0 stable release based on Firefox 68 ESR as well as continuing work on the updater for Tor Browser nightly desktop builds. We also hope to ship a few more locales[10], Thai, Lithuanian, and Malay, in our alpha series. Finally, once the first stable 9.0 release is out, we will start picking up sponsor work again, finishing off the work that was started before the Firefox 68 ESR transition period to integrate client-side authorization to onion services v3 in Tor Browser[ 11].

All tickets on our radar for October can be seen with the `TorBrowserTeam201910` keyword in our bug tracker.[12]

Thanks for reading!


[1] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-855
[2] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a6
[3] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-856
[4] https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2019-27/
[5] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/31140
[6] https://blog.torproject.org/orfox-paved-way-tor-browser-android
[7] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29955
[8] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30126
[9] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=closed&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201909
[10] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29935
[11] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30000
[12] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=accepted&status=assigned&status=merge_ready&status=needs_information&status=needs_review&status=needs_revision&status=new&status=reopened&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201910&order=priority

Project Manager: Tor Browser, UX and Community teams
pili at torproject dot org
gpg 3E7F A89E 2459 B6CC A62F 56B8 C6CB 772E F096 9C45

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