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devil duck

PSA: Google on Freedom

Some days I'm proud of my employer. This afternoon I attended a talk by the "Jigsaw" team, whose mandate is to use Google technology to promote freedom and protect the vulnerable around the world, and I thought I would mention three services in this category. If you have friends or family living under the control of an oppressive government, make sure they know about this stuff. Most are joint projects between Google and one or more other academic institutions or NGO's.

  • uProxy, a free browser plug-in which enables anyone to create a proxy Internet server that people in high-censorship places like China and Korea can use to get to uncensored Internet content. (A joint venture between the University of Washington, Google, and I don't know who else.)

  • Project Shield, a free service protecting independent journalism servers from DDOS attacks, including attacks by their own governments.

  • Unfiltered.news, a Web site to show you what topics are being reported on by journalists in various countries. Check out the list of "topics underreported in your country" (relative to other countries' coverage of that topic), then follow the links to see (either translated or in the original language) recent headlines about those topics in various other countries. Slide the "date" bar to see how popular this topic was, and what was being said about it, on various recent days. (It's interesting to note which countries had remarkably little coverage of the Mossack Fonseca "Panama Papers" leak last week....)

There were demos of some other neat services like this, but they haven't been announced publicly yet; you'll just have to wait :-)
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