Google the Guardian: New Project to Protect Elections Around World

Posted: Mar 22, 2017 3:00 PM

Google has now decided to apply its technological expertise to politics. The multinational tech company has dubbed this project "Protect Your Election", which it has developed together with a company called Jigsaw (run by Google's parent company, Alphabet). 

Google prefaces the tool with this: "News matters. Elections matter. And during elections, news matters even more - it’s critical that everyone can get the full story." The company cites DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which makes a website unavailable by conducting mass traffic to the site, and also sites phishing and unauthorized account access, the latter happening from getting past the password of an account without permission, according to Google. Jigsaw explained that the "suite of free tools" is necessary for "news organizations, human rights groups, and election monitoring sites—organizations whose work is particularly critical before and during elections.

Jigsaw reported a case of a DDoS attack on an election, explaining why they are pioneering this project. 

"Just hours before the polls opened in this year’s Dutch election, one of Holland’s leading election information sites went offline. The site had been the target of a powerful DDoS attack—a common type of digital attack that overwhelms websites with bogus traffic. Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming easier, cheaper, and better organized."

The suite of tools can also be used for individuals as well, to protect their account privacy. "Password Alert" is a Google Chrome app that can be downloaded to alert users of a phishing attack, when a website is trying to compromise their Google password.