“Project Shield is an initiative to use Google's infrastructure to protect free expression online,” reads a Google blog post. “The service currently combines Google's DDoS mitigation technologies and Page Speed Service (PSS), which allow websites to serve their content through Google to be better protected from DDoS attacks.”
DDoS attacks take down websites by flooding them with traffic
Currently, Project Shield an invite-only affair, but website owners can apply to be part of the trial run. Google is looking for “trusted testers” to help them work out the kinks, and in particular, the company is interested in sites that serve up media content, and in particular those that are related to elections and human rights endeavors. Those types of sites are most vulnerable to DDoS attacks because they tend to be smaller shops, which are easier to take down, and they’re more likely to attract the attention of dissenters and opponents who would like to take their sites offline.
There’s no price for participation at this point, although there may be some charge in the future, but regardless, Google is hoping to offer Project Shield protection to charities and non-profits for free or at least at a reduced cost.