13 October 2016

IAPA and Google announce the Project Shield Partnership for Latin America


Mexico City, October 13th, 2016 - The Inter American Press Association and Google announced today a new partnership to eliminate DDoS as a tool of repressive censorship and to scale the availability and adoption of Project Shield, a free service developed by Jigsaw that uses Google technology and Google's infrastructure to protect news sites and free expression from distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS attacks) throughout Latin America.

The objective of IAPA-Google partnership is to ensure that all IAPA member organizations are protected from DDoS attacks. The Project Shield service from Jigsaw is available to independent publishers of all sizes as well as human rights organizations and election monitoring groups, all of which are frequent target of DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks are considered one of the most pernicious forms of digital censorship in the 21st century, and are increasing at an alarming rate.

News publishers are especially at risk of being targeted by attacks to take down their sites for political, economic or personal reasons. DDoS attacks have taken down publishers large and small, from TechCrunch and Página12 to the BBC. According a Neustar report, the odds of getting attacked are 50%, and once you've been attacked, there's an 80% chance you'll be attacked again. It's estimated that 50% of media sites have already been hit.

"IAPA has been in the frontline of the defense of Freedom of Expression since it was created," said Pierre Manigault, President of the Inter American Press Association, during the organization's General Assembly in Mexico City. "As news consumption has gone increasingly digital, there is worrisome evidence that new ways of censorship are growing which could limit publishers' ability to deliver news, opinion and analysis to an ever growing number of news consumers in the Americas. Through this partnership, we hope to offer blanket protection from DDoS attacks to publishers large and small throughout the region."

Project Shield was created by Jigsaw, an incubator within Alphabet, Google's parent company. The free service was launched in early 2016 as a way to defend the world's news organizations from DDoS attacks, and it is part of Jigsaw's broader goal of ending repressive censorship online. Project Shield is free for qualified organizations and new users can apply here.

"We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with IAPA as a way to protect news organizations throughout Latin America," said George Conard, the Jigsaw product manager who leads the Project Shield team. "Our goal is to end repressive online censorship, and defending publishers against DDoS attacks is a crucial step toward eliminating DDoS as a threat to free expression."

Project Shield uses a multi-layer defense system and is built on Google's sophisticated infrastructure to protect against the full range of DDoS attacks, large and small, multi-vector and single vector. Put simply, Project Shield uses Google's own defenses and network capacity to protect news sites from DDoS attacks.

About Jigsaw

Jigsaw is an incubator within Alphabet, Google's parent company, that builds technology to tackle some of the toughest global security challenges facing the world today—from thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats from digital attacks to countering violent extremism to protecting people from hate and harassment online.

About Google Inc.

Google is a global company leader on technology which focuses on improving the way people is connected with information. Google's innovations on Internet search and online advertising have made its website one of the main Internet products, and its brand, one of the most well known worldwide.

About SIP

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.