Edward Snowden backs new app, Haven, to guard your devices from surveillance

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NEW YORK — Edward Snowden says of smart phone technology, “They have the power to understand everything that’s going on around them. But what if we could use all of that to do something good in the world, something more than just letting Facebook track everyone that you ever loved?”

The former National Security Agency contractor who exposed U.S. government surveillance programs by disclosing classified material in 2013 has a new job: app developer.

Edward Snowden in a video message Friday unveiled a new phone app he helped create, called Haven, that aims to protect laptops from physical tampering.

Snowden says it’s an open-source tool designed for human rights activists and other people at risk and it uses an Android phone’s sensors to detect changes in a room.

The software was developed with the Freedom of Press Foundation and the Guardian Project. It has been greeted with mixed social media reactions, with some people celebrating its security capabilities and others saying they don’t trust Snowden.

Haven is only available for Android phones. You can get the app or learn more about the project here.

Snowden has lived in Russia since 2013, when the country gave him asylum, resisting U.S. pressure to extradite him.