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Alphabet's Project Shield expands DDoS protection to politics

Previously, the service was open to news organizations only.
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SpVVK via Getty Images

Today, Alphabet announced that Project Shield is widening its scope. The free service is now expanding to include protecting any registered political organization from DDoS attacks. This includes candidates, political action committees and campaigns.

Project Shield is a product of Jigsaw, formerly Google Ideas, and is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and access to factual information. Back in 2016, the service offered its reverse proxy multi-layer defense system to news organizations for free for protection from DDOoS attacks that could deny people the ability to find information. While larger organizations were welcome to participate, Project Shield's aim was to protect the smaller news organizations that didn't have the resources to prepare for this kind of attack. Now, with the rise of denial-of-service attacks against democratic organizations, Project Shield is stepping in once again.

It's a set-it-and-forget it system; to take advantage of Project Shield, all a registered political organization has to do is sign up at the website. The tool is simple to set up, and once you do, your website is protected. All incoming traffic will be routed through Project Shield, and the service can filter out malicious requests.

This is just the first step. In the next few months, Project Shield will expand to protect international political organizations for free as well. It's a great use of Jigsaw's resources, which has been using machine learning to combat toxic comments. It will ensure that smaller organizations that don't have as many resources will be able to stay online and withstand malicious attacks intent on censoring and blocking free speech.

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