Formerly called Google Ideas, Jigsaw is an Alphabet company tackling global security challenges with technology. The incubator’s latest Android application is called Intra and works to combat online censorship of information and news sites.
DNS manipulation is one of the most common forms of online censorship, used to block access to news sites, information portals, social media platforms and communication apps.
Censorship by malicious parties often involves altering the Domain Name System responsible for providing the exact address needed to visit a site. When compromised, users can get sent to a fake page, or be entirely blocked from visiting the site.
Intra tackles this manipulation by encrypting an Android device’s internet connection to a DNS server. As such, you can visit sites and use apps that are regularly blocked, with users also protected from fakes ones that try to phish personal information or inject malware.
The app is very straightforward with users just enabling a toggle to enable protection against DNS attacks. Jigsaw touts no slowdowns on your internet connection, with no limit on usage data.
Meanwhile, the Alphabet company promises that Intra does not track the apps or websites you visit. Advanced users can also customize the DNS server provider from Google and CloudFlare to custom servers.
The app is available on the Play Store today and works on Android 4.0 devices and above. It joins other Jigsaw projects to prevent DDoS attacks on vulnerable sites and providing journalists and activists with tools to communicate securely.
More from Jigsaw:
- Google enforces political ad transparency, working w/ Jigsaw to ‘Protect Your Elections’
- Jigsaw’s Sideways Dictionary explains complex tech, security terms with everyday analogies
- Jigsaw and Google using machine learning to identify toxic online comments
- Project Shield, Google’s free DDoS protection service, is now open to any news site