Digital attacks have become increasingly popular and cyber security appears to be as necessary as physical security cameras. The most dangerous hacker to a digital system however is a physical attack. If a person has physical access to your computer, it is extremely vulnerable. So a physical security device is actually extremely important to your digital life. Thankfully, the ever popular privacy activist Snowden has managed to convert old smart phones into home security cameras with a new app, Haven.


Edward Snowden is currently the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation but is known more popularly for his criminally charged stance on personal privacy. After leaking NSA information about the US government monitoring personal information through the internet, he has been on the run from the United States and currently resides in Moscow, Russia. Not slowing down in his quest for personal privacy, Snowden has used his position at the Freedom of the Press Foundation to ensure cyber security through physical security methods.


The Haven app was designed to be installed on older, cheap Android smart phones so it can be left behind when you leave. By leaving the phone near your computer in a hotel room or home, it uses the phone’s camera and microphone to monitor and capture occurrences. The app will notice a disturbance in the room using the phone’s light sensor and immediately photograph and record the incident. It will send the recordings directly to your primary phone for record keeping and knowledge of who may be in the room while you’re away.

Although its original purpose was to protect your digital property, this technology is not limited to someone hacking into your computer in a hotel.

In November, a Colombian activist group called Movilizatorio, used the app in a social justice trail to prevent government mistreatment and brutalities. With a group of 60 testers, Movilizatorio founder Juliana Uribe Villegas stated, “it’s great to think about cybersecurity, but in countries like ours, personal security is still at the top of our list.” During the month-long trial, Haven helped prove government agents conducting unlawful invasions, surveillance, and even kidnappings.

“Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there. And it’s actually smart, and it witnesses everything that happens and creates a record of it,” Snowden said in a phone interview with WIRED. “The real idea is to establish that the physical spaces around you can be trusted.”

Like a majority of home security cameras, Haven is not capable of actually preventing a break-in from occurring but at least it can attempt to capture the act. While it was designed specifically for cyber security, Haven is capable of simply monitoring a person’s home. It may not be the ideal candidate for a home security camera but with its hypersensitivity, you will be alerted by any change in room while you’re away.