|Headquarters||New York, United States|
Jigsaw, formerly Google Ideas, is a technology incubator created by Google, and now operated as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Based in New York City, Jigsaw is dedicated to understanding global challenges and applying technological solutions, from countering extremism, online censorship and cyberattacks, to protecting access to information. Jared Cohen, formerly with the Policy Planning Committee at the US State Department, is the founder and president of Jigsaw, and was formerly founder and director of Google Ideas.
In 2010, Eric Schmidt approached Jared Cohen to lead Google Ideas, as a think tank to research issues at the intersection of technology and geopolitics, and has worked on projects meant to protect activists and independent media from cyberattacks. The team's most recent conference was the Conflict in a Connected World Roundtable Series, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center of Preventative Action. Under the leadership of Jared Cohen, Jigsaw brings together a team of Google engineers, research scientists, product managers, and policy experts. In May 2016, Jigsaw announced it had partnered with VICE NEWS on a five-part documentary series, called BLACKOUT, examining free expression around the world.
Google launched an early pilot of a new anti-DDoS initiative called Project Shield in early 2013. Project Shield aims to mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by leveraging Google's infrastructure, helping small-scale websites, like those of activists serving "media, elections, and human rights related content" around the world. In October 2013, Google Ideas formerly announced an invite-only beta phase of Project Shield at a conference held in New York.
In February 2016, Jigsaw announced that it would open Project Shield to applications from any independent news website, with the aim of assisting small, under-resourced sites that are vulnerable to DDOS attacks.
Other Jigsaw projects include uProxy, Password Alert and the Digital Attack Map. uProxy is an extension for Chrome and Firefox web browsers which allows users to access the Internet via a web proxy. The extension works by enabling a user to share their Internet connection with someone else. Google Ideas provided funding for the development which was carried out by the University of Washington and Brave New Software — the same organization behind the anti-censorship tool Lantern. The extension is intended to allow users to get more secure access to the Internet without being monitored. It is free/libre software under Apache license 2.0. Password Alert protects against phishing attacks. The Digital Attack Map displays the top digital attacks in the world in real time; and the global arms visualization maps the global arms trade.
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