Salted Hash Ep 18: Mobile security and privacy

This week, Salted Hash is joined by Nathan Freitas, founder of The Guardian Project, and senior writer J.M. Porup to talk mobile privacy and security

Everyone, from activists, journalists, CEOs, and politicians, walk around with a computer in their pocket, sometimes calling it a phone. But unlike a laptop or a desktop, you don't really own or control the computer in your pocket. This week on Salted Hash, we talk about mobile privacy and security with the founder of The Guardian Project, Nathan Freitas.

Nathan Freitas has a long history of fascination with the portable computers we call phones. He's worked with activists and human rights supporters for years, helping them to organize and stay in touch. In 2004, he left the mainstream technology industry and started working on tools and technology for activists. In 2009, his work resulted in the creation of the open source project aptly named the Guardian Project, which is where we are today.

"While smartphones have been heralded as the coming of the next generation of communication and collaboration, they are a step backwards when it comes to personal security, anonymity and privacy," the Guardian Project website explains.

"Whether you are an average citizen looking to affirm your rights or an activist, journalist or humanitarian organization looking to safeguard your work in this age of perilous global communication, we can help address the threats you face."

The Guardian Project has a number of tools, including Orbot (Tor for Android), Orfox (a browser for Orbot), and ChatSecure (secure messaging) – available on Google Play and the App Store, as well as F-Droid. Depending on a person's threat model, or their need for secure communications, the tools are key assets as they move about the world.

One of the latest projects that the Guardian Project has helped (along with the Freedom of the Press Foundation) with is Haven, a fork of the SecureIT project.

"Haven turns any Android phone into a motion, sound, vibration and light detector, watching for unexpected guests and unwanted intruders. We designed Haven for investigative journalists, human rights defenders, and people at risk of forced disappearance to create a new kind of herd immunity," the project's page on GitHub outlines.

This week's chat discusses Haven in a little more detail than some of the earlier media hype, including where the project goes from here.

In addition, we discuss things executives and other high-value target travelers can do (without apps) to protect themselves and their communications.

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