Political and artistic sites get free “bat phone” dispatched DDoS protection

Denial-of-service mitigation service CloudFlare will provide free protection to political and artistic websites that come under attack for exercising their free-speech rights, the company is expected to announce Thursday.

Under a program it's calling Project Galileo, San Francisco-based CloudFlare will work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and at least 14 other non-profit groups to identify sites that are targeted for publishing politically or artistically themed content that may be considered controversial or objectionable. The program effectively equips the non-profit partners with a "bat phone" they can use to reach a CloudFlare representative whenever such a site comes under a distributed denial-of-service attack designed to knock it offline. CloudFlare will then immediately provide mitigation services free of charge.

Right now there are just under 100 sites that are enrolled in Project Galileo, CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince told Ars. The company protects about two million websites total, under a variety of pricing plans from no cost at all for small sites to premium fees for banks and other types of sites that regularly come under attack and require constant uptime. Sites that receive free services generally receive fewer resources. Under the program being unveiled Thursday, qualifying sites will receive whatever resources are necessary to keep them online.

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