Edward Snowden wants you to know if unexpected guests are trying to crack your computer. In partnership with Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Guardian Project, the former NSA contractor and accused leaker announced the creation of a new application aimed to provide physical protection of one’s surroundings.
Haven, an open-source application, leverages on-device cameras, microphones, accelerometers, etc., to turn Android phones into motion, sound, vibration and light detectors that can provide warning of unwanted activity or intruders, according to Haven’s GitHub page.
The application was designed with many professions in mind that have been scrutinized by some repressive governments around the world, such as investigative journalists, human rights defenders and “people at risk of forced disappearance.” While the application could potentially ward off a kidnapping, the simplest use is that an unassuming Android device could be placed near a laptop, and the monitoring system could send out an alert if a hacker attempted to physically compromise it.
Devices can be positioned to capture visible motion leveraging the phone’s camera, or set it somewhere to listen for noises leveraging the phone’s microphone. Haven, which was first reported by the Intercept, provides notifications of intrusion events and provides access to logs remotely.
The application is currently in a public beta stage with creators looking for contributors.
Creators noted that, while the application does not run on iOS devices currently, they hope to support Apple devices as sensors in the future. However, iPhones can monitor and receive notifications through Haven from the second Android “leave behind” device that acts as a sensor.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.