Tech company, free speech groups to protect websites under attack

Online security company CloudFlare and free speech organizations are teaming up to protect “politically and artistically important” websites from attacks.

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Through an initiative announced Thursday — named Project Galileo — CloudFlare will provide its tools to protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to websites facing free speech threats.

“Bullies should not be able to knock sites offline simply because they disagree with their content,” CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement.

CloudFlare will provide its security tools to threatened websites identified by the 15 free speech organizations that are a part of Project Galileo, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology and Access, the company said in its release announcing the initiative.

“Critical to Project Galileo’s success is that we alone aren’t picking who deserves protection,” Prince said.

“That’s why we’re proud to be working with some of the leading NGOs, spanning the political spectrum, in order to identify the websites that should qualify for the Project.”

Access Executive Director Brett Solomon called the initiative a “breakthrough” and credited CloudFlare with being “ a new ally online” for the fight against censorship.

“It shows how Silicon Valley tech companies can actively create a more secure and safe Internet for the world's most vulnerable Internet users,” he said in a statement.