When breaking news hits the Internet, the ability for people to consume stories with embedded multimedia is vital. Jumping on a social media outlet — whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat — and talking about the breaking story in real-time just adds to the overall experience.
Google wants to ensure that the world's news websites are able to continue to thrive and disseminate stories in a productive manner. That's precisely why the tech company announced Thursday that it's enhancing its Project Shield to protect news sites from digital attacks on a global level.
The precise digital attack on Project Shield's radar is what's called a distributed denial of service (DDos), which Google says can be carried out by just about anyone with access to a computer, as that person could put a news site offline before its owners even realize they've been hacked.
Google updating Project Shield comes after it already enabled it to use the company's security infrastructure to detect and filter digital attacks on news and human rights websites. This just opens up the access and umbrella of protection.
"We learned a lot from our early group of Project Shield testers," Jared Cohen, Jigsaw president and adviser to executive chairman of Google, said as part of the company's blog post Thursday. "Not only have we kept websites online during attacks that otherwise would have taken them offline, we learned crucial information about how these types of attacks happen, and how we can improve our services to defend against them.
"With this expansion, tens of thousands of news sites will have access to Project Shield," he continued. "And because Project Shield is free, even the smallest independent news organizations will be able to continue their important work without the fear of being shut down."
Google insists that Project Shield isn't merely about protecting journalism, but also improving the overall health of the Internet, while limiting the level of threats for news publishers and keeping the Web free-flowing.
So, when Donald Trump delivers his latest soundbite during what has been one interesting presidential campaign thus far, nothing should stop the path of news outlets getting that quote and accompanying story surrounding it out to the masses.
Part of Project Shield is getting journalists in on the process as well. That's why Google is inviting journalists to explore Project Shield more to further discover how they can help protect the world's news.