Orbot’ing into the Fediverse

Tusky is an open-source Mastodon client for Android. It is usable, beautiful, and completely free and open-source. It also, fortunately, supports a key feature to enable easy proxying of all of its traffic. While you can use it with any standard HTTP proxy you might have, you can also configure it to use the “localhost” proxy provided by Orbot: Tor for Android.

Why would you want to do that? Orbot provides you free access to the global, volunteer-driven Tor onion-routed network, that protects your traffic from surveillance, interference, and censorship. It also stops your actual IP address from being visible to any server you connect to, including the Mastodon instance that you have configured Tusky with. Lastly, I happen to be the lead developer of Orbot, and I use and endorse this solution with all of my onion-ringed heart.

If you are concerned about your access to Mastodon being tracked or blocked, or don’t fully trust the logging hygiene of your instances admin, then I suggest you enable HTTP proxy through Orbot.

Just look in Tusky’s Preferences screen at the very bottom, and enable HTTP proxying to server “localhost” and port 8118. You also need to install Orbot and start it up (though you do NOT need to enable VPN mode for this).