May 16, 2018

Google sibling extends cyber protection to campaigns

Photo: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

Jigsaw, the altruistic projects incubator of Google's parent company Alphabet, will offer free protection to political campaigns from cyber attacks meant to overpower websites and online services using high volumes of internet traffic, the group announced Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Distributed denial of service attacks — essentially, attacks that force networks of thousands of hacked computers to flood a server with so much traffic it cannot properly function — are cheap and easy to pull off.

"You no longer have to be a technical person, you don't have to be a black hat hacker working on perfect code to take down a site."
— George Conrad, a product manager at Jigsaw's Project Shield, which provides the service

The background: Project Shield already offers protection to a number of other high-risk groups, including human rights groups, journalists, and those working on election infrastructure.

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.