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Privacy Encryption IOS Software

Tor Onion Browser's Creator Explains Free Version For iOS (mike.tig.as) 26

The free iOS version of the Tor browser "sparked a tidal wave of interest" after its release in December, according to Silicon.co. Mickeycaskill writes: The cost has been scrapped due to developer Mike Tigas' worries that the price was limiting access to anonymous browsing for those who need it most. "Given recent events, many believe it's more important than ever to exercise and support freedom of speech, privacy rights, and digital security," Tigas wrote in a blog post. "I think now is as good a time as ever to make Onion Browser more accessible to everyone."
"I'm still a little terrified that I've made this change," Tigas adds. For four years the Tor Onion browser was available on the Apple App Store for $0.99, the lowest non-free price allowed by Apple, providing a "reliable" income to Tigas which helped him move to New York for a new job while allowing him "the economic freedom to continue working on side projects that have a positive impact in the world." Tigas also writes that "there's now a Patreon page and other ways to support the project."

Last month the Tor Project also released the first alpha version of the sandboxed Tor Browser.
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Tor Onion Browser's Creator Explains Free Version For iOS

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  • Why would 99 cents be an issue?

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @02:14PM (#53667963)

      I agree. But, there may be a flip side: tor in general seems to believe, probably rightly, that more users increases anonymity for all users. The other piece is that security and privacy software don't have the level of buy-in that they should pretty much anywhere, to the point where merely having privacy and security programs on your computer can be phrased as if it were a bad or sketchy thing- the "something to hide" fallacy, which is played over and over again in media.

      So when I see an app become free, my assumption is that they want a large number of installed instances of it. Usually that's for a reason like "microtransactions" or "user monitoring / data brokering and mining". But it also helps all of tor's goals without that.

      Anyway, it's worth considering. Certainly, no one who wanted privacy was seriously oscillating over whether to make their multi-hundred dollar purchase cost X+1 dollars, where X > 300, and likely > 500.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know it's silly to RTFA, but it's for places that can't make purchases from the App Store because they are in countries that apple wont accept payment from, I.e. Those repressive countries where a tor browser is most useful.

    • by dnaumov ( 453672 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @03:47PM (#53668375)

      Because if you located in say, Iran, Apple cannot process any of your payments and as a result, you are locked out ot accessing any and all paid apps.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why would 99 cents be an issue?

      Your purchase history can be tracked.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It it great that Tor is free for iOS. However, if you can afford an iPhone, then you can afford $0.99 to buy Tor.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    by charging a yearly fee in order to be allowed to be a developer. I know after I paid the $99 so I could publish my free app that I wasn't able to eat for six days. That was a lot of suffering because of Apple's hate.

    • I know after I paid the $99 so I could publish my free app that I wasn't able to eat for six days.

      I'm surprised you're still alive after buying a Mac.

  • The landing page of the browser can alway have a featured sponsor listing fed in and displayed without compromising anything. Could also promote their own site and list a bunch of tools, maybe some that are sponsored.

    Thoughts?

  • Free now? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I want my $0.99 back.

  • recent events? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @03:09PM (#53668231)

    Given recent events

    And by that he is referring to the massive expansion of the surveillance state under President Obama?

    https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

    Shocking indeed. Even more shocking that this was supported by Democrats and Democratic candidates. Hopefully, a new president will change direction.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hopefully, a new president will change direction.

      Sadly, I believe that Trump and many of the people he has placed in key positions in his cabinet are surveillance state supporters. This is sadly a bi-partisan issue.

      • Sadly, I believe that Trump and many of the people he has placed in key positions in his cabinet are surveillance state supporters. This is sadly a bi-partisan issue.

        I agree, that's the most likely outcome.

        Still, the fact that Trump keeps picking fights with the intelligence services and has said that he wants to scale them back offers a glimmer of hope.

        And the post-election professions of nearly unconditional love of Democrats for the intelligence services and the surveillance state means their mask has sl

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If watching people lie online contributes to defeat, how the fuck did Trump win?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Delusionally a new president will change direction

      Obama's mistake was in believing in restraint. He had it, so he believed others will too.
      If there is one thing we can all agree on, Trump is not a man of restraint.

      John Lewis just baited the guy [theguardian.com] in to attacking the last living speaker from MLK's March on Washington, during the MLK holiday. Even republicans have chastised Trump for that.

      • Trump wasn't wrong though. Lewis's district IS a dump, and the man has been riding MLK's coat-tails for years thinking it makes him bullet-proof from criticism.

  • Does it work well?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      From what I've read, it is not secure and I would not trust it to keep me anonymous. That's not the fault of the author; it's because Apple forbids developers from writing their own web browsers. Instead, they are required to use the WebKit library provided by iOS, which is full of privacy leaks ( e.g. the issues described here. [mike.tig.as])

      (For the same reason, it's inappropriate to call this "the iOS version of Tor Browser". Tor Browser is a complete open-source web browser - a fork of Firefox - that is designed to

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