Rafael Marques De Morais is a journalist in Angola who runs Maka Angola, the largest independent news site in the country. Operating from Rafael’s kitchen table, Maka Angola may have a small staff, but its impact in Angola is massive. Their investigative journalism, covering topics from conflict diamonds, to wartime atrocities and crippling poverty, have given the citizens of Angola a platform where their voices can now be heard.
As a result of his coverage, Rafael has been threatened, thrown in jail and been the target of constant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to take Maka Angola offline. Rafael has been able to partner with Jigsaw’s Project Shield, ensuring that his site stayed online and continued its work.
The world’s news is under threat from DDoS attacks — a simple and inexpensive way for anyone with an internet connection to take down a news organization anywhere in the world. This type of cyber attack is one of the most pernicious forms of censorship in the 21st century.
Jigsaw’s Project Shield is a free service that uses Google’s technology to protect independent news sites and human rights groups from DDoS attacks. In light of the rising threat, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced earlier this year that Shield is available to journalists, news sites and human rights organizations around the world for free.