Known for its "Don't Be Evil" corporate motto, Google has a well-established reputation for resisting authorities around the world who seek to censor its Web properties, including YouTube and Blogger.
But the formation of the Ideas group, which the company advertises as a "think/do tank" headed by Jared Cohen, a former US State Department official, has raised the possibility of the company playing a more active role in furthering US policy. Under its "Project Shield" initiative, Google said it would host sites that frequently came under politically-motivated distributed denial-of-service attacks. Because of the size and sophistication of its technical infrastructure, Google is far more able to withstand such attacks compared to websites hosted independently. The product remains in testing, Google said. A promotional video made by Google featured an endorsement from Balatarin, a popular Persian-language news website that has already tested the digital shield program. Google has also worked to protect an election monitoring website in Kenya, according to Forbes. The uProxy software, funded by Google but developed by the University of Washington and nonprofit group Brave New Software, will allow users in countries like China to access the Internet as it is seen by a friend in a different, uncensored country. The software creates an encrypted connection between two users in a way that resembles a virtual private network - a method that savvy Chinese netizens currently use to circumvent the government's Great Firewall, which blocks many social media sites.