CloudFlare is offering its anti distributed denial of service (DDoS) software for free to "public interest websites that cover political or artistic content" under an initiative dubbed Project Galileo.
CloudFlare said that it was important websites that do not necessarily have the resources to pay for its technology were not therefore easy targets, especially as this could silence their important messages.
"Public interest websites that cover political or artistic content are often the target of these [DDoS] attacks. At CloudFlare, our mission is to build a better internet. As part of that mission, we strongly believe that bullies should not be able to knock sites offline simply because they disagree with their content," it said.
"CloudFlare is partnering with NGOs and civil society groups to identify outlets for free-expression online. Once identified, CloudFlare will extend our enterprise-class DDoS protection to ensure these websites stay online, protecting their voice from being silenced."
The scheme has the backing of some 15 NGOs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"[We] created Project Galileo to protect politically and artistically important organisations and journalists against attacks that would otherwise censor their work. As part of the project, CloudFlare provides its state-of-the-art DDoS mitigation technology – for free – to any qualified vulnerable public interest website," it added.
"CloudFlare aims to keep ideas moving. If a website participating in Project Galileo comes under attack, CloudFlare will extend full protection to ensure the site stays online – no matter its location, no matter its content."
Non-profit organisations, sites in the "public interest", news gatherers and civil society outfits can apply for CloudFlare's support. CloudFlare will not divulge the names of organisations that it gives it services to.
The threat of DDoS attacks refuses to go away, with popular services such as Feedly and Evernote hit this week, knocking their services offline for several hours.
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