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Alphabet's Project Shield And Eliminating DDOS Attacks On Free Speech

Forbes Technology

Most of the world's Internet-connected netizens know of Google through its wildly popular consumer-facing products like its search engine and YouTube video hosting platform. Yet, Google's parent company Alphabet also operates a fascinating "think/do tank" called Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas) that asks "How can technology make the world safer?" Jigsaw is involved in an incredible array of projects from fighting hate speech with deep learning to making the world's constitutions searchable (a project I personally was heavily involved in, building the technology infrastructure that was used to acquire, digitize, version and codify thousands of constitutions and amendments dating back more than 200 years). Yet, one project of particular interest in today's world of botnet-enabled mass DDOS attacks on free speech and the evolution of cyberwarfare is Jigsaw's Project Shield, which offers free DDOS protection for news, human rights and elections monitoring websites, powered by Google's own global infrastructure. To most of us, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks are something we read about in the news periodically when one of our favorite websites goes down.


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

#artificialintelligence

In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens. Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, India and Uganda have all shut off internet access when politically beneficial to their ruling parties. Nations like Singapore, Russia and China all exert outsize control over the structure and function of their national networks, often relying on a mix of political, technical and social schemes to control the flow of information within their digital borders. The effects of these policies are self-evident.


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

#artificialintelligence

In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens. Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, India and Uganda have all shut off internet access when politically beneficial to their ruling parties. Nations like Singapore, Russia and China all exert outsized control over the structure and function of their national networks, often relying on a mix of political, technical and social schemes to control the flow of information within their digital borders. The effects of these policies are self-evident.


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

Engadget

The internet was supposed to become an overwhelming democratizing force against illiberal administrations. It was supposed to open repressed citizens eyes, expose them to new democratic ideals and help them rise up against their authoritarian governments in declaring their basic human rights. It was supposed to be inherently resistant to centralized control. In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens.