This is just a quick blog post to announce I got selected into Google Summer of Code 2023!
I will be working this summer under the Tor Project on the project “Arti API exploration to build example tools”.
For more context, Arti is the new Rust rewrite of the core Tor daemon (which is the software that creates the proxy through which you can route TCP connections over the Tor network to preserve your privacy). It is designed from the ground up to take advantage of Rust’s memory and thread safety, offering less memory safety issues at very little performance cost, if any.
It is also designed so that other software projects may integrate Arti into their projects so that they can “Torify” their network requests as well without having to rely on an external daemon running or having to specify any settings as well.
Currently, the Tor daemon (written in C) doesn’t have a nice way to do this since this kind of third-party integration was an afterthought, and since Tor has been around since 2002, the code isn’t as easy to understand as it once was.
Now, even though work on Arti has been coming along nicely, there are still many features left to implement before it is ready to replace C Tor. Also, the code written thus far doesn’t have much in the way of examples illustrating to developers working on projects that may wish to use Arti how exactly to go about using these APIs.
This is mainly what my Google Summer of Code project is aiming to solve.
In the coming few months, I will be building several small utilities which will not only demonstrate Arti to other developers, but will also help new developers understand how Arti APIs are externally leveraged, use the API in novel ways which will most likely expose bugs or hidden gaps in functionality, and even be used in production to solve a non-trivial problem or two that may arise.
As someone who has used Tor in many situations to get around pointless website blocks and even used the Tor Browser as their daily browser for web browsing and non-logged in tasks, I feel proud to contribute to such a project which will utlimately aid people to access information freely without the fear of oppressive third parties or vested interests.
For more information, you can check out my proposal in Google Docs or in PDF format.
Thanks to Tor Project and Google for selecting me! I look forward to working this summer!
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