The Guardian Project, Freedom Of The Press, and Edward Snowden launched an open source app Haven for android phones. The app turns android phones into surveillance system and helps users to protect phones against computer hijacking.
The app uses camera of the device, audio recording capacity, and accelerometer for detection of movement and notifying users about potential dangers. Though it has the best encryption in the world, the device is vulnerable to physical and in-person hacking.
Micah Lee, a member of Freedom Of The Press, who also helped in setting up and testing the app, affirmed that the app does have some drawbacks, including the requirement of constant internet access for notifications and prevention of battery drain and false positives.
Lee also pointed out that the app provides the peace of mind to users from additional surveillance. Along with securing hardware, the app could be used for other purposes.
“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,” said Lee.
If an Android device equipped with Haven is set up along with laptop in a hotel safe, the app could be used to broadcast any movement or audio. If someone opens the safe, it will capture a photo a photo, detect motion, and record audio. Then it will send alerts through SMS, Signal or to a Tor-based website.
Haven is available for download in Google Play store and open source Android app store F-Droid.