Former CIA employee Edward Snowden, popularly known for revealing spy programs of America's National Security Agency, has released an Android app called Haven: Keep Watch. The app description says it is meant to keep your Android Phone secure, having tools that make it a high security communication and anti-spy device that can also detect intrusions.
The app, designed with The Guardian Project and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is "for people who need a way to protect their personal spaces and possessions without compromising their own privacy"
Haven is available on Android Play Store and has already been downloaded by 10 thousand people in less than a day since it went live. The free app is in Beta right now and is looking for contributors.
The app basically uses on-device sensors like the microphone, camera and accelerometer to monitor the space around you for " unexpected guests and unwanted intruders".
You can use any old Android phone, setup the app on it and place it in the surroundings you want to monitor. The app wakes up by motion or sound and starts recording audio and camera streams. The data, the descriptions says, is saved locally or is sent via the Internet to a master device through encrypted channels like Signal and Tor.
The app has been developed using parts of code from various open source and community projects hosted on Github and the links to source code provided in the description, for preview and improvement of the app and probably to show that the app itself doesn't intend to hoard user data.
"We are announcing Haven today, as an open-source project, along a public beta release of the app. We are looking for contributors who understand that physical security is as important as digital, and who have an understanding and compassion for the kind of threats faced by the users and communities we want to support." says the app description.
Snowden published a video on YouTube introducing the app in which he says "Haven makes it harder to silence citizens, raids, searches, arrests without getting caught in the act themselves. This creates a kind of herd immunity where before people launch a crackdown they have to think will I be witnessed in a way that I can't stop."