Google’s Threat Analysis Group Is Sounding Air Raid Alerts For Android Users In Ukraine

google fighting russian information war in ukraine
Mobile devices like smartphones have been increasingly employed to help protect people against crises; the close-contact alerts that went out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are a prime example. Now, Google is immediately rolling out a feature that will alert and protect Ukrainian Android phone users from impending air raids.

On Thursday, Google's Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs, published a blog post explaining that the company's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) is focused "on the safety and security of our users in Ukraine and the surrounding region, to help them access and share important information." While one might think this has to do with the rise in cyber incursions in the region, this is not the case, as the refugee and humanitarian crisis poses more risk and danger to human life.

google poland fighting russian information war in ukraine
Google's Poland Campus

Subsequently, Walker wrote that "At the request, and with the help, of the government of Ukraine, we've started rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine." This will be in addition to the existing air raid system that the country has in place, and as such, the Android alerts will be based on the alerts being sent out already by the Ukrainian government. However, the alerts will also be supported by the underlying "low latency alert mechanism [Google] built for earthquake alerts."

Beyond this development, Google is also helping to disseminate information more effectively to those impacted by the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. This includes helping businesses show whether they are providing resources for refugees, donating to local organizations in the area to help refugees who arrive in Poland, and more to restrict Russia's profits and disinformation campaign on Google's platform.

Overall, Google is taking massive steps to help the people in Ukraine directly affected by Russia's invasion. These sorts of steps are what we like to see from companies with incredible influence and financial capability. Thus, hopefully, we will start to see other companies help out in similar ways, but for now, let us know what you think of these efforts from Google in the comments below.