Edward Snowden is behind a new security app that can catch anyone who tries to steal or tamper with your belongings when you aren’t around.
The app, called Haven, uses a smartphone’s various sensors to detect when your possessions might be at risk from intruders and capture evidence.
You can then remotely monitor any activity going on in the physical space around them, to make it easier to identify any potential criminals.
The software isn’t designed to be installed on your main smartphone, but a cheap, secondary “burner” mobile you’d be happy to leave behind with the possessions you want to protect.
“Haven detects changes in the environment using the sensors in a typical smartphone—the camera, microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light, USB power—to alert you if anyone enters your space or attempts to tamper with your devices while you aren’t there,” said the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the board of which Edward Snowden is president.
The app monitors these sensors for “a measurable change” in the environment around it, detecting any noises and visible motion, as well as whether or not the phone has been moved or unplugged from its charger, and any changes in air pressure and light conditions.
It’s designed to provide protection in a multitude of situations, including home invasions, burglaries, human rights office raids, kidnappings and vandalism.
Haven only saves images and audio when it’s triggered by motion or volume, and stores everything locally on the device it’s installed on.
“Haven turns any Android phone into a motion, sound, vibration and light detector, watching for unexpected guests and unwanted intruders,” said the Guardian Project.
“You can position the device’s camera to capture visible motion, or set your phone somewhere discreet to just listen for noises. Get secure notifications of intrusion events instantly and access the logs remotely or any time later.”
It’s currently only available on Android devices, but the Guardian Project says it hopes to support an iOS version of the app in the future.
Though Haven is built primarily for “journalists and human rights defenders”, it can be used by anyone who owns an Android phone. You can download the app here.
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