Earlier this year, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in a meeting with Jacqueline Moudeina – a legendary human rights advocate in Chad – told that he was working on an app that could turn a mobile device into a surveillance system by making it kind of motion sensor.
According to Snowden, the app could tell you when someone had entered a room, had moved your things, or had stormed into your friend’s house in the middle of the night. That app is now available to download on any Android phone.
Named Haven, it is an open source application that can run on any Android phone. The app turns mobile phone in to a security system, by using device’s camera, audio recording capability and accelerometer sensor to detect movement and notify a user.
The idea is to install the app on a cheap burner Android device. When Haven detects motion, light, or movement, it logs. It also takes photos, records sound, notes changes in light, and then sends notifications to the your personal number which you include when setting up the app.
The app was developed by The Guardian Project and Freedom Of The Press, with the help of Edward Snowden. The app is secure as it doesn’t store any log info in the cloud, and the notifications are end-to-end encrypted over Signal.
Micah Lee of Freedom Of The Press, who helped setting up the app, said that beyond helping keep hardware secure, Haven could also have other uses.
“Haven can also be used as a 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,” Lee wrote.
Snowden, who remains exiled in Russia, previously helped develop an iPhone case that detects when a device is transmitting data hopes that this project spins out into many directions to address the threat models of all kinds.