Over the last few years, the need for users to be in control of their own data has become increasingly apparent. Some excellent progress had been made in this regard with the rise of messaging apps like Signal, and file storage systems like Tahoe-LAFS. The ongoing work of Let's Encrypt to bring HTTPS to the whole world is steadily gaining traction.
But building privacy and anonymity into applications is not trivial. Much of the software people use every day was not designed to be privacy-preserving, and the tools developers have available are generally not easy to work with. The recently-published OnionScan survey gives some insight into just how easy it is for even technical users to mis-configure their services, completely undermining their intentions.
Helping developers help their users
We are pleased to announce that this summer, I2P will be embarking on a development program aimed at improving the privacy software ecosystem. Our goal is to make life easier both for developers wanting to leverage I2P in their applications, and for users trying to configure and run their apps through I2P.
We will be focusing our time this summer into three complementary areas:
In June, we will be updating the various libraries that exist for interfacing with I2P. We have made significant progress this year on extending our SAM API with additional features, such as support for datagrams and ports. We plan to make these features easily accessible in our C++ and Python libraries.
We will also soon be making it much easier for Java and Android developers to add I2P support to their applications. Stay tuned!
In July we will be working with applications that have expressed interest in adding support for I2P. There are some really neat ideas being developed in the privacy space right now, and we want to help their communities leverage over a decade of research and development on peer-to-peer anonymity. Extending these applications to work natively over I2P is a good step forward for usability, and in the process will improve how these applications think about and handle user information.
Finally, in August we will turn out attention to the apps we bundle inside I2P, and the wider array of plugins. Some of these are due for some love, to make them more user-friendly - as well as fix any outstanding bugs! We hope that longtime I2P supporters will enjoy the outcome of this work.
Take part in Summer Dev!
We have many more ideas for things we'd like to get done in these areas. If you're interested in hacking on privacy and anonymity software, designing usable websites or interfaces, or writing guides for users: come and chat with us on IRC or Twitter! We are always happy to "see" new "faces" in our community, both inside and outside I2P. We'll be sending I2P stickers out to all new contributors taking part (or possibly other pending I2P goodies)!
Likewise, if you are an application developer who wants a hand with integrating I2P, or even just to chat about the concepts or details: get in touch! If you want to get involved in our July Apps month, contact @GetI2P, @i2p or @str4d on Twitter. You can also find us in #i2p-dev on OFTC or FreeNode.
We'll be posting here as we go, but you can also follow our progress, and share your own ideas and work, with the hashtag #I2PSummer on Twitter. Bring on the summer!