Zcash Developers Update 12-6-19

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By Elena Giralt

Hi everyone! Here’s your update for 12/6 (with updated links, including Fellowship of the ZEC).

This week in privacy, Brave Browser crosses a big milestone in terms of growth, 10 million monthly users. Remember when Apple released all those ads celebrating its privacy policy? Well, they might have to backpedal. KrebsonSecurity discovered that Apple iPhones still track location for certain customers even when location tracking has been turned off, according to a report from Fortune. TikTok, the latest social media craze popular with GenZ, settled a $1.1 M class action lawsuit for violating children’s privacy laws. This isn’t the first time TikTok has been fined in the US. Earlier this year (Feb 2019), TikTok was fined $5.7 M on a similar violation. Learn more here. Have you heard about COPRA? It’s a new consumer privacy bill introduced to Congress by Washington Sen. Cantwell. The last two weeks I’ve been following mostly US privacy laws but if you have any suggestions on legislation around the world, please drop it in the comments.

Over Thanksgiving, I spent some time reading up on privacy issues around the world. Internet freedom around the world has declined in 2019 according to a Freedom House report in November. Amnesty International released a 60 page report on surveillance and privacy. I learned about the arrest of Ola Bini, privacy activist and friend of Julian Assange. He was arrested in Ecuador the same day Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. I also read up on a bit of privacy legal history. In 1890, Warren and Brandeis wrote The Right to Privacy article in the Harvard Law Review. This essay is one of the most influential articles in history of American law. Check out the full article here.

Here are the latest updates from ECC:

  • ECC has posted its analysis of the community sentiment. According to the updated timeline, later today Zcash Foundation will publish their analysis on the Dev Fund community sentiment and board discussion. Follow the discussion thread and updated timeline.
  • Blossom activation is right around the corner! Mark your calendars for Dec 11.
  • ICYMI – the Crypto Community Project was featured in the New Yorker, zcash got a few shout outs.
  • ECC got into the holiday spirit this season with our new tradition, Fellowship of the ZEC.

Core Team: Previously the Arborist team, this team focuses on the development of the zcashd client, librustzcash and protocol upgrades. Follow along with team discussions in the Community Chat #public-community-arborist

  • We reviewed and merged the Merkle Mountain Range (MMR) crate into librustzcash, which is a big milestone on the path to Flyclient support which will provide massive performance benefits.

Development Infrastructure Team: The Development Infrastructure team ensures developers have the tools and infrastructure they need. Join this team in the #dev-infrastructure chat channel.

  • We have completed initial phase of CI updates to allow code to merge into zcash master. Currently we have coverage for Debian 8, Debian 9, Debian 10, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Ubuntu 19.04. In the coming weeks we intend to fully update the entire Python stack to Python 3, while adding in build support for CentOS, Arch, ARM, Windows cross compile, and Mac cross compile.
  • We are also continuing work on https://github.com/zcash-hackworks/zcashd_exporter to leverage much of our new Docker updates.

Wallet Team

  • This sprint, the team delivered improvements to 1) get iOS almost to parity with the Android SDK 2) refined the android SDK/prepare to deliver a reliable, usable, mvp internal dogfooding wallet to improve our SDK development efforts and 3) began merging in sweeping, community submitted changes to lightwalletd for speed/memory/bandwidth improvements driven by the work of ZECWallet Lite.
  • Exciting highlights: we made progress in getting transactions on mainnet working in the internal dogfooding wallet in a reliable fashion, and the gap between iOS and Android has decreased from months to about a month of work! A portion of the ZECWallet Lite changes to lightwalletd have been incorporated and the changes are awaiting review.
  • Done: