Google wants to protect news sites and free expression from nasty DDoS attacks that often cripple them, and it won't charge a dime for it.
The company basically wants to weed out that heavy, destructive traffic that makes up a DDoS attack just like it weeded out spam from legitimate emails in one's inbox.
Google will achieve this through Project Shield, which is a free service part of the newly branded Alphabet Jigsaw tech incubator.
Project Shield is launching for all "independent" news sites, meaning that it will protect those that are not owned by the government or some political party. Even massive corporate news websites are eligible for this project, but Google's primary goal is to help the small ones that don't have the necessary resources to handle a heavy DDoS attack.
For those unfamiliar with this type of cyberattack, a DDoS attack, short for Distributed Denial of Service, aims to take down a website by overwhelming it with massive amounts of traffic from multiple sources at once. These DDoS attacks often aim to prevent publishing and accessing important information at critical times.
"DDoS attacks are often used to attempt to censor news, human rights, and elections monitoring sites, and to bring down many other types of sites," Google explains on its Project Shield website. "Sites that are not using a content delivery network (CDN) or a major hosting provider often do not have the capacity to defend against these attacks."
Project Shield Eligibility
Google's new Project Shield will protect news websites, as well as those related to monitoring elections content or human rights. It will not, however, serve other types of content such as individual blogs, businesses or gaming. Head over to Google's Project Shield support page to learn more about eligibility.
Project Shield Application
Interested parties who think they are eligible for Project Shield protection can apply using the application form on the project's website. Should one's site be approved, the applicant will receive an email with the necessary information to start configuring Project Shield.
When it comes to privacy and data collection, Google says that Project Shield will only use the data it gets for mitigating DDoS attacks and caching, or to improve the service. Such data includes logs from the Project Shield servers. You can read more about this on the dedicated support page.
To get a better idea of the concept, check out the short presentation video below.