Short Bytes: Privacy journalist and mobile app developer Mike Tigas has decided to make Tor-based Onion Browser for iOS freely available. Citing the recent incidents, he said that it’s more important than ever to support the free flow of information. Interestingly, until now, he was making more than $2,000 per month with the app. To support the project, he has set up a donation page.While working as a newsroom web developer at The Spokesman-Review, Mike Tigas developed the Onion Browser application for iOS platform in 2012. Mike did so as he wanted a Tor browser app for himself and colleagues. Later, he put the app on Apple App Store at $0.99. Nonetheless, the code of the browser was always open source.
Taking a look at his 2016 numbers, Mike was able to earn more than $2,000 per month from the app. According to Mike, initially, he set the purchase price to recoup the $100 annual Apple membership cost. However, recently, he realized that it was stopping the anonymous browsing from reaching out to everybody. As a result, a few weeks ago, he decided to make it free.
“Given recent events, many believe it’s more important than ever to exercise and support freedom of speech, privacy rights, and digital security,” he wrote on his blog.
Mike goes on to describe that he also got a little financial help from the Guardian Project and other initiatives. As a result, he was able to integrate the obfs4proxy into Onion Browser. Such pluggable transports help Tor to continue working where attempts are made to censor or block Tor browser.
Mike has warned that versions of his application must not be downloaded outside the iOS App Store. He has also invited the people to support Onion Browser project by making anonymous Bitcoin donations.
Did you find this development interesting? Do you use Tor to safeguard your privacy? Don’t forget to tell us your views and feedback.