Free protection for freedom of speech

Recently, DDoS attacks have become also a tool to silence independent journalists, small media and activist websites: also an attacker without much experience is now able to launch an attack that can take many small sites down.

Fortunately some suppliers of mitigation services provide basic services dedicated to these kind of publishers.

Let us consider the three major: Deflect, Cloudflare’s Project Galileo and Google’s Project Shield


Deflect is an open source project of, a not-for-profit technology collective based in Montreal, Canada with deep roots in the human rights technology community.

Deflect is funded by NGOs and governments, including the US government, in order to protect the freedom of speech: does not discloses the websites they protect and don’t need any approval to provide service.

Deflect services are free if:

- You defend Human Rights; run a Civil Society Organisation; produce Independent Media; or work with people who do one of these.

- You have been targeted by DDoS attacks or have reason to fear or anticipate a DDoS attack because of the work you do.

- Your work does not contravene the principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

- Your work does not promote hate speech or encourage discrimination.


CloudFlare’s Project Galileo

Cloudflare is a privately-held Delware-incorporated US for-profit company based in San Francisco. They maintain servers around the world ( and it must to comply with US legal requests and National Security Letters.

Cloudflare created Project Galileo to protect politically and artistically important organizations and journalists against attacks that would otherwise censor their work.

The service is free, but in order to participate in the Project, a website must meet the following criteria:

  • It is engaged in news gathering, civil society, or political/artistic speech.
  • It is the subject of online attacks related to its news gathering, civil society, or political/artistic speech.
  • It is a not-for-profit organization or a small commercial entity.
  • It acts in the public interest, broadly defined.


Google’s Project Shield

About the “Project Shield” project I already wrote some time ago:

Project Shield is built on Google’s infrastructure, creating a multi-layer defense system to protect your site against DDoS attacks, including layer 3/4 and layer 7 attacks.

Project Shield is currently invite only and providing access on a rolling basis. After you sign up, you will “be notified via email if your site is selected to become a ‘trusted tester’.”

The service falls under Google’s overall privacy policy and terms of service, and must to comply with US legal requests and National Security Letters.