New Delhi :In support of media organisations globally, Google today said it will open its ‘Project Shield’ technology to protect news sites and portals related to human rights from attacks that threaten free expression and access to information.
The move comes at a time when there is a raging debate globally about freedom of expression for media firms as well as those around privacy and security in the era of social media.
The web has become a critical tool for news organisations to communicate faster, research and disseminate their work to a global audience, especially in cases of investigative work, the Internet giant said.
“Unfortunately, there are some out there who want to prevent this kind of reporting – to silence journalism when it’s needed most,” Google said in a blog post.
A simple and inexpensive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack can take a site completely offline before its owners even know they’ve been attacked.
“These attacks threaten free expression and access to information… Now we’re expanding Project Shield beyond our trusted testers, and opening it up to all the world’s news sites to protect them from DDoS attacks and eliminate DDoS as a form of censorship,” Jigsaw President and Advisor to Executive Chairman, Alphabet Jared Cohen said in the post.
Originally, Project Shield came out of Google Ideas (now renamed Jigsaw) and was used by about 100 sites focused on topics like human rights, election monitoring and independent political news. It used Google’s security infrastructure to detect and filter attacks on these websites.
Project Shield is free and aims to help independent news organisations to be able to continue their work without the fear of being shut down.
“Project Shield is not just about protecting journalism. It’s about improving the health of the Internet by mitigating against a significant threat for publishers and people who want to publish content that some might find inconvenient,” it said.
A free and open Internet depends on protecting the free flow of information starting with the news, it added.