Google announced today a new initiative called Project Shield that is intended to protect web sites whose free speech may be attacked. A common attack on the Internet are Distributed Denial of Service, or DDOS, attacks that are used to take a site offline due to criminal intent, for political reasons, or due to the nature of the content on the site. Attackers perform a DDOS attack by flooding a particular site or computer with huge amounts of connections. These connections cause the site to go offline as it is unable to handle the amount of requests being sent to it or because their Internet connection becomes so clogged noone can reach them.
Google's new Project Shield is designed to allow web sites serving news, human rights or elections-related content to take advantage of the advanced infrastructure of the Google networks so that they are protected from DDOS attacks. In addition, testers will be able to take advantage of Google's Page Speed Service, which will enable the content of your site to be delivered more quickly and efficiently. If your web site qualifies, you can sign up to become a "trusted testers" of Google's Project Shield. If you are selected you will be required to change your domain's DNS servers and possibly your web site's IP address in order to full benefit from this service. In addition to the DDOS mitigation services, Google is also offering their Page Speed Service
Just like other DDOS mitigation services such as Cloud Flare and Prolexic, Project Shield will most like use a Reverse Proxy configuration to protect your servers from these types of attacks. In this configuration a user would connect to Google's web servers, which would then retrieve the requested content from your web server. This allows you to hide the IP address of your web site from potential attacks, while still being able to serve content. As the traffic will be filtered through Google's network, you get the extra benefit of Google filtering out other known attacks directly on their server before they ever reach your own web server.