Google’s Threat Analysis Group Is Sounding Air Raid Alerts For Android Users In Ukraine
On Thursday, Google's Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs, published a blog post explaining that the company's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) is focused "on the safety and security of our users in Ukraine and the surrounding region, to help them access and share important information." While one might think this has to do with the rise in cyber incursions in the region, this is not the case, as the refugee and humanitarian crisis poses more risk and danger to human life.
Subsequently, Walker wrote that "At the request, and with the help, of the government of Ukraine, we've started rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine." This will be in addition to the existing air raid system that the country has in place, and as such, the Android alerts will be based on the alerts being sent out already by the Ukrainian government. However, the alerts will also be supported by the underlying "low latency alert mechanism [Google] built for earthquake alerts."
The system leverages our low latency alert mechanism we built for earthquake alerts. The air raid system is supplemental to, and shares the same triggers used for, the country's existing air raid alert systems. 2/3— Dave Burke (@davey_burke) March 10, 2022
Beyond this development, Google is also helping to disseminate information more effectively to those impacted by the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. This includes helping businesses show whether they are providing resources for refugees, donating to local organizations in the area to help refugees who arrive in Poland, and more to restrict Russia's profits and disinformation campaign on Google's platform.
Overall, Google is taking massive steps to help the people in Ukraine directly affected by Russia's invasion. These sorts of steps are what we like to see from companies with incredible influence and financial capability. Thus, hopefully, we will start to see other companies help out in similar ways, but for now, let us know what you think of these efforts from Google in the comments below.