Edward Snowden became a household name in the middle of 2013 after he defected from his high paying NSA job and disclosed numerous global surveillance programs of the NSA and Five Eyes. Since then Snowden has been called many names and the US has tried its best to bring the ‘traitor’ back to its mainland but to no avail. Since the end of June 2013, Snowden has been granted political asylum and has been staying in Russia. After being silent for a quite some time, Snowden is back, and in the limelight, with an application, he says he has been developing since last year. An application which he believes is going to bring a lot of much-needed privacy in the lives of the people. Without much ado let’s know more about Haven. An android application from Snowden and why it is being labeled as the ultimate sousveillance tool.
An android application, compatible with the slowest and even an outdated android smartphone. Once installed, it can harness the power of the sensors built within the smartphone to capture minute changes in light, movement or sound and send it to a connected device. Snowden himself does not use a mobile device but has long collaborated with hacker Andrew Huang in studying various devices. He planned to use this knowledge in promoting privacy of the people. Haven uses the proximity sensor to detect if your drawer has been opened, an accelerometer to detect if your stuff has been moved, a microphone to record any sound and camera to silently capture any images.
Without a doubt, the application developed by Snowden is indeed a very handy tool. However, there are many questions on the practical use of the application. The application is useful in cases of physical surveillance, and such surveillance does not happen on a global scale. In this age, most of the surveillance happens by keeping the user unknown to the fact. Eavesdropping and recording mobile calls without the knowledge of either party, intercepting emails and various other means are such channels. The Haven app does not address any such issue. Also, the application can be a boon for high priority criminal. They can use Haven to monitor police activity secretly.
Edward Snowden’s intention seems to be very positive with the application. However, more work needs to be done to ensure its use remain ethical and productive. Surely, the last thing he wants is his application being used by criminals to booby trap their safe houses before falsely tipping off the police that they are in that safe house. For those of you who want to try Haven. And, for those who want to know a bit more about Haven from the creator himself, the video is for you guys.