The majority of people online—60 percent of internet users—live in countries that have engaged in some form of censorship. Every day, important news is silenced and activists are repressed by governments who want to limit free expression. Digital attacks can take news sites offline for as little as $20, and government firewalls can prevent people from finding information that matters to them. In some countries journalists risk prison or torture to report on important issues, and some governments pass increasingly harsh laws that crack down on free speech.
For many people, online harassment is a nuisance — a sad reminder that the internet contains some of the worst parts of humanity along with the best. Almost everyone has experienced how a single, toxic voice can poison a conversation. But what is sometimes described as cyber-bullying has become better organized, better funded, and often government-backed. Today’s harassment campaigns are driven by many of the same political and ideological conflicts that exist in the physical world.
The Internet has become both a battleground and a recruitment platform for violent extremists. Groups like ISIS use it to create propaganda, recruit new members, and spread fear. They use increasingly sophisticated social campaigns to identify those who might be susceptible extremist content. And by creating and publishing high-quality original content, extremist groups like ISIS have established themselves as global brands. But technology can help to interrupt the cycle of radicalization and divert young people away from extremism online.
Crime and corruption thrive in the absence of transparency. As long as criminal organizations and corrupt institutions can operate without scrutiny, they will continue to use modern tools to conceal their behavior. But injustice and corruption — from atrocities on the battlefield to money laundering to organized crime — leave behind information that can be used to understand these challenges and work to stop them.
We’re an incubator within Alphabet that builds technology to tackle some of the toughest global security challenges facing the world today—from thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats from digital attacks to countering violent extremism to protecting people from online harassment.
Our team of engineers, scientists, researchers, designers and policy experts view the world through the lens of technology. Our name, Jigsaw, acknowledges that the world is a complex puzzle of challenges, and it takes a collaborative approach to solve them.
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