I am both proud and pleased to welcome the launch of Project Galileo by CloudFlare, for which the Centre for Policy Alternatives – the institutional anchor of this site – is a global launch partner. As noted in CloudFlare’s blog post announcing the launch of the new initiative,

Project Galileo’s goal is to protect free expression online. Sites can participate in Project Galileo if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are engaged in news gathering, civil society, or political/artistic speech;
  • They are subject to online attacks related to their news gathering, civil society, or political/artistic speech;
  • They are not-for-profit organizations or small commercial entities; and
  • They act in the public interest, broadly defined.

For sites that meet these criteria, CloudFlare will extend its full, enterprise-class DDoS attack protection at no cost.

This is big news for critical sites from civil society, NGOs, civic media and citizen journalism initiatives, whistleblowers and others who courageously publish information that risk pushback in the form of virulent DDoS attacks to censor and contain the spread of this content. If they fit with Project Galileo’s criteria, institutions and individuals with something important to say, or with information that they feel should be published and disseminated for public scrutiny can now avail themselves of the DDoS protection CloudFlare’s enterprise-class services offer.

Note that to get CloudFlare’s protection, an individual or institution has to sign up at least to CloudFlare’s free service, which requires technical know-how. CloudFlare notes that examples of Project Galileo participants include minority rights organizations, LGBT rights organizations in Africa and the Middle East, global citizen journalist sites, and independent media outlets in the developing world. Some other examples of website Project Galileo can help secure are,
  • An individual or institution with a registered domain that publishes, or seeks to publish controversial information on high-level corruption.
  • An institution that on its own website, seeks to publish information sourced from whistleblowers.
  • A whistleblower herself/himself who seeks to register a domain and setup a website to publish content in the public domain.
  • A non-profit, civic media or citizen journalism website, like GroundviewsMaatramVikalpa or The Republic Square.
Examples where Project Galileo cannot help are,
  • Any blog hosted on blogger.comwordpress.com, Tumblr or similar platform
  • Any website belonging to an individual or institution without the know-how to create a free CloudFlare account and do the necessary technical configuration to site hosting
  • Any big commercial or mainstream media site

For more info and to apply for Project Galileo, please click here.