The most recognizable whistleblower on the planet, Edward Snowden, is launching an app designed to give users more power in protecting themselves and their stuff. The app, called Haven, turns any Android smartphone into a powerful security device that uses all of the device’s capabilities to protect against attacks on privacy.
It records video, sound, vibration, and detects motion and changes in light, and effectively turns a spare Android smartphone into a watchdog device that can be placed just about anywhere.
Haven is an open source app that will run on any Android phone, particularly inexpensive and older devices. It operates like a surveillance system, using the device’s camera, audio recording capability and even accelerometer to detect movement and notify a user. The idea is that, even with the best encryption in the world, a device is vulnerability to physical, in-person tampering — also known as “evil maid” because literally a hotel maid could access it.
“Haven is for people who need a way to protect their personal spaces and possessions without compromising their own privacy,” – Official Website, Haven
The app was developed by The Guardian Project, Freedom Of The Press and Snowden to offer eyes and ears to prevent, or at least increase awareness, of whether a device has been tampered with. “We designed Haven for investigative journalists, human rights defenders, and people at risk of forced disappearance to create a new kind of herd immunity.”
The application works a lot like smart home security systems. It can be customized to detect whatever you want, making it useful as everything from a motion-detecting camera to a discreet audio recorder.
“You shouldn’t have to be saving the world to benefit from Haven,” said Snowden, but acknowledged that the people most likely to be using Haven were paranoid developers and human rights activists in the global south.
Download the app from your play store(beta)!