Syria Stories March 21, 2016

GOOG: 742.09

4.49

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, 2016

GOOG: 713.04

1.37

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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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Syria Stories October 23, 2015

GOOG: 702.00

50.21

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

Syria Stories August 20, 2014

Google Chrome is now available to download in Cuba

Google announced today that its Chrome browser is now available for users to download across platforms in Cuba. Up until today, Chrome had not been available to users to in Cuba due to trade restrictions that also block the use of some other Google services in the country.

U.S. export controls and sanctions can sometimes limit the products available in certain countries… We’re happy to say that Internet users in Cuba can now use Chrome too, and browse the web faster and more safely than they could before.

Google said today that it’s “been working to figure out how to make more tools available in sanctioned countries” as U.S. export controls and sanctions change. It also made Chrome available in other sanctioned countries in recent years including Syria and Iran. Google didn’t provide any additional information on what exactly it did to navigate sanctions and make Chrome available in the country.

Users in Cuba can download Chrome for desktop and mobile devices now.

Syria Stories November 30, 2012

EgyptTwitter_avatarv2

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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