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Google announces services to promote free expression

Google announces services to promote free expression

Web giant Google has unveiled plans to launch a package of services that will protect both human rights groups and news suppliers from cyber-attacks.

At a presentation held earlier this week in New York, the Californian firm announced its new shield package and also showcased technology called uProxy, which will allow individuals or groups living under certain regimes around the world to get connected and overcome government censorship and surveillance.

While uProxy will be made available for Firefox and Google’s own Chrome browser, it will not, at least upon release, work with Internet Explorer.

During the presentation, Google also unveiled a map that displays all cyber-attacks around the world as they happen.

Reporting on the event, Reuters called the new services two of the ‘most significant’ pieces of software to be developed by the Google Ideas think-tank.

With Project Shield, Google said it will host sites that have come under frequent, politically-motivated attacks. According to Reuters, the company is much better equipped to resist significant cyber-attacks than sites which are hosted independently.

Google confirmed that, at present, the product remains in the initial testing stages. A promotional video shown at the New York event revealed that the program has been used on a trial basis by a Persian-language news site. Additionally, Forbes said that the web giant has previously protected a Kenyan election-monitoring website.

While it is funded by Google, uProxy is being developed by Brave New Software, a non-profit organisation, and the University of Washington.

Richard Bell

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