Syria Stories March 21

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One of the more amazing revelations in the 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails posted on Wikileaks last week was that Google was in 2012 working on a tool to support the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Washington Examiner highlights an email originally sent by Google Idea‘s Jared Cohen to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it on to Clinton. Cohen was a former State Department staffer who subsequently became a senior Google exec.

Cohen described a tool that Google believed could help to destabilise the Assad regime, and Sullivan said to Clinton that it was ‘a pretty cool idea,’ no-one realizing at that point how things were going to unfold …

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Syria Stories January 26

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Google has announced a new philanthropic partnership with NetHope aiming to help Syrian refugees in Germany get reconnected by making 25,000 Chromebooks available to nonprofits. The goal — as described on the Project Reconnect home page — is “to help refugees as they strive to rebuild their lives, by facilitating access to education and information resources on the web.”

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Syria Stories October 23, 2015

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Following Google’s donation-matching program, which has so far raised more than $12M to fund humanitarian aid for refugees from Syria and other war zones, the company says that it is now providing technological assistance too.

In a blog post today, Google says that it has developed an open source project called the Crisis Info Hub to provide migrants with access to the immediate information they need on arrival in Greece in a lightweight, battery-saving way. The company says that it is also helping to beef-up mobile data connectivity locally …  expand full story

9to5mac 

Syria Stories August 20, 2014

Syria Stories November 30, 2012

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Google made an announcement on its official Europe Blog today to confirm it is reactivating the Speak2Tweet service following Internet access being completely shut off in Syria yesterday. It originally launched the service two years ago to allow Egyptians without Internet access to send tweets using only a voice connection. Google noted in the post that since yesterday its “transparency Report has shown that Internet access is completely cut off in Syria.”

For those interested in using the service… Google explained:

Unfortunately we are hearing reports that mobile phones and landlines aren’t working properly either. But those who might be lucky enough to have a voice connection can still use Speak2Tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+90 212 339 1447 or +30 21 1 198 2716 or +39 06 62207294 or +1 650 419 4196), and the service will tweet the message… No Internet connection is required, and people can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

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