Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Forbes Magazine reports that Google will offer free protection for websites serving media, elections and human rights related content against so-called “distributed denial-of-service” cyberattacks that flood them with junk traffic from hundreds or thousands of computers, taking them offline. The project, which is part of the company’s Google Ideas initiative to take on global problems, has already been working for months with at-risk sites around the world in countries like Iran, Syria, Burma and other places where sites with political content are often subject to attack, and will expand in its initial phase to hundreds of sites. “We’re able to take the people who face the greatest threats to [distributed denial of service] attacks and get them behind our protection,” says CJ Adams. “If they face an attack, it has to get through us first, and after years of working on this we’re pretty good at stopping these attacks.” The service is currently invite-only and is accepting applications from websites serving news, human rights or elections-related content. In addition to the Shield protection service, Google is also launching a digital attack map to show real-time cyberattacks around the world, pulling data from the DDOS analysis service Arbor Networks. Among the beta users of Project Shield are the Persian-language political blog Balatarin, a Syrian website called Aymta that provides early warnings of scud missile launches, and an election monitoring website in Kenya called the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission. “The thing that can take many of these sites offline is so small to us. We can absorb it,” says Adams. “That’s made this something we can provide fairly easily. It has a huge impact for them, and we can take the hit.”"