Science

Convert your phone into a spy tool with Snowden's app

27 Dec 2017 | By Ramya Patelkhana

Edward Snowden needs no introduction. The National Security Agency whistleblower exposed classified information about the US Government's surveillance programs and monitoring activity in 2013.

Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, has now launched an app "Haven" that converts any Android device into a spy tool.

Activists, journalists, and others at risk can protect themselves, their devices and property using Haven.

Here's how!

In context: Edward Snowden launches privacy protection app "Haven"

27 Dec 2017Convert your phone into a spy tool with Snowden's app

A safe room that fits in your pocket: Snowden

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Created by Freedom of Press Foundation, Guardian Project

Haven, backed by Snowden, was developed by the Freedom of The Press Foundation and the Guardian Project. Snowden is the President of the Freedom of Press Foundation. Guardian Project comprises of developers, designers, activists, advocates, trainers, etc. who develop open-source mobile security software and enhancements.
Prevents physical tampering of user's property or devices

HavenPrevents physical tampering of user's property or devices

According to Snowden, Haven is an open-source security tool developed for investigative journalists, human rights activists, advocates, and others at risk of "targeted attacks".

It is a simple Android app that uses the device's onboard sensors for detecting changes and movement in a location and provides monitoring of the place.

It basically transforms the device into a surveillance tool to prevent physical tampering.

How?How does the Haven app work?

Haven app works in a manner similar to smart home security systems. Users can customize what they want Haven to detect.

The device's microphone can hear and record sounds, its accelerometer detects motion, light meter detects changes in lighting, and camera might capture photos.

The app can also broadcast these changes and send alerts via SMS, Signal app, or to a Tor-based website.

How can you download Haven?

"Haven: Keep Watch" app is currently available on the Android platform only, in public beta version. One can download the app via Haven's website; it is also available on Google Play Store.
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Security System"A cheap home or office security system"

Freedom Of The Press member, Micah Lee, said Haven can be used as a "cheap home or office security system" for detecting vandalism or break-ins.

He said the phone can be positioned to send photographs "when someone walks within range".

Lee added one can use Haven to "monitor for wildlife in rural areas or to capture evidence of human rights violations and disappearances."