Snowden’s App Haven to Protect Laptops from Prying Eyes


Edward Snowden, the infamous whistleblower of NASA has recently recreated an app that is to protect your laptop from prying eyes. The app is called Haven and 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.

Furthermore, none of the logging in is stored on the cloud and the notifications one will be receiving on their main phone have end-to-end encryption over Signal.

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It is to be noted that Snowden since 2013 hasn’t carried a phone, but over the past couple of years have been poking around circuit boards of various smartphones with the aid of fine tweezers and a microscope. With particular reasons to be paranoid, Snowden has been very careful with technology and it is known that he takes extensive measures even when typing his password on his computer.

However, the app is not without shortcomings as pointed out by Micah Lee a member of Freedom of Press that the security system does not look in to the dilemma of maintaining constant internet access for notifications, preventing battery drain and false positives.

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However, multiple uses for this app have been thought of such  cheap home or office security system to detect break-ins or vandalism while you’re away, positioning the phone to send you photographs when someone walks within range. Or you can use it to monitor for wildlife in rural areas, or to capture evidence of human rights violations and disappearances. Some festive uses have also been devised, as according to Snowden the lead developer explaining the project to his children told them that Haven can be used to catch Santa!

tSnowden partnered with the Guardian Project a collective of app developers who focus on privacy and encrypted communications to develop Haven. Snowden heavily credits Nathan Freitas, the director of Guardian Project for writing the bulk of the code for Haven.

The application Haven is available on the Play Store and open source Android app store F-Droid.


Source: The Verge
Image source: CSO Online