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Tor for iOS: System Wide Tor Integration Is Officially Coming to iOS 9 Soon

Warning: the Internet may contain traces of nuts. – Unknown

If you ever thought Internet is free, open, and secure, you need to think again. Yes, Internet has been developed keeping these three principals in mind but the reality now a days says otherwise. Neither it’s free, nor it’s open and security is just another myth someone wants you to believe.

I have my reasons to believe so and those wise-minded people will agree with me. Governments, security agencies, armies, corporations, employers – everyone is after the Internet and its users badly. Breach of users’ privacy is a common trade. Spying on who’s doing what is just another day. And the freedom to use the Internet ‘freely’ is a joke. This is a game to decide who ‘owns’ the Internet and the answer ‘no one’ is not acceptable to many.

In such a suffocating situation, there are individuals and organizations who are fighting for users’ rights. These people and organizations are those who strive to make Internet a better place, the way it is supposed to be.

For those active in the privacy and anonymity world, Tor project is not a strange name. Tor project is one of those projects aimed towards users’ privacy, security, and anonymity. Tor is a free and open source software helping users fight privacy breaches and provides them anonymity while on the Internet.

Will Tor for iOS Be a Reality Soon?

Acronym for The Onion Router, Tor has been actively developed for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android operating systems since many years. And now Tor is finally coming to iOS thanks to new features introduced in recently-released iOS 9. The goal of Tor integration with iOS is to provide system-wide Tor implementation and routing all traffic over the Tor network. This way, iOS users will be getting the same level of anonymity they receive while using other Tor implementations such as Tor browser on desktop. The new features introduced in iOS 9 makes it possible to integrate Tor system-wide.

As reported by The Daily Dot, there are two separate projects being developed with one common goal – Developing Tor for iOS. One project is being developed by The Guardian Project group which in collaboration with The Tor Project, has developed Orbot – a device-wide proxy service and Orfox, a Tor enabled browser – both for Android platform. According to The Guardian Project leader Nathan Freitas, older iOS versions lacked key capabilities that would allow effective Tor implementation. iOS 9 has certain capabilities which makes the development of Tor based VPN possible.

The other project is a collaborative effort from Chris Ballinger, founder of ChatSecure, Frederic Jacobs from Open Whisper Systems, Mike Tigas, the developer of Onion Browser, Conrad Kramer, an iOS developer and Claudiu-Vlad Ursache. Named as iCepa, this project’s aim is to develop a system-wide VPN-based Tor client for iOS.

Currently Onion Browser by Mike Tigas is one of the most used and a genuine way of browsing Internet over Tor network on iOS. Unauthorised and fake Tor browsers are spread across the web and the app store that claim to use the Tor network. Such unofficial tools should be avoided as they might breach your privacy or contain malware.

Finally, the official Tor implementation is making its way to iOS to help users keep their privacy and anonymity intact. In coming months, the iOS community will be able to gain the benefits of using Tor.

This is folks, stay safe and secure online and off. I hope you found this article worth reading, and if you did, please share it with others. Until we meet next, make sure there’s no one hiding behind your shoulder.

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