Google, sister company Jigsaw offer cybersecurity to election groups

Ahead of the French elections, Google is packaging a trio of free tools for journalists, NGOs, and other institutions that facilitate elections.

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"Free and fair elections depend on people having access to the information they need, and around the world the sources of that information are increasingly under attack," said Google France and Jigsaw. (Image: Project Shield Google)

Weeks ahead of the national elections in France, Google and its sister company Jigsaw are helping news sites, NGOs, and other entities involved in the elections process protect themselves against digital threats.

The two companies have packaged a suite of "Protect Your Election" tools, which includes two-step verification and the Password Alert Chrome extension. It also includes access to Project Shield, a layer of defense against DDOS attacks.

"Free and fair elections depend on people having access to the information they need, and around the world the sources of that information are increasingly under attack," said Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce of Google France and Jigsaw's Jamie Albers in a blog post.

While these tools aren't exactly new, tech giants like Google are under growing pressure to respond to cybersecurity threats against democratic institutions. A NATO official recently warned that cyber attacks pose a threat to democracy around the globe, while Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, is pressing Facebook and Google to do more about the spread of misinformation.

Meanwhile, Microsoft executive Brad Smith has called on tech companies to serve as a "digital Switzerland" to assist and protect customers of any national origin against cyber attacks.

Google and Jigsaw noted that Holland's leading election information site went offline just hours before this year's election due to a DDOS attack. Now, the Dutch site is using Shield and has stayed online through continued attacks.

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