You’ve heard about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis and widespread damage due to Russia’s indiscriminate bombardment of residential areas. It’s appalling and shameful, and it’s led to millions of Ukrainians attempting to cross into friendly countries like Poland and Moldova. With the country’s infrastructure crumbling by the day, Google has stepped in to declare that, in collaboration with the Ukrainian government, it is launching a quick Air Raid Alerts system for all Android phones in the country, which will notify people when an air raid is detected.
Google’s technology is a supplement to Ukraine’s existing air raid systems, so it isn’t reinventing the wheel; rather, it is attempting to ensure that a larger audience receives the alerts.
“The system makes use of our earthquake-warning system’s low-latency alert mechanism.” The air raid system is a supplement to the country’s existing air raid alarm systems, and it uses the same triggers. The system will begin rolling out today and will gradually expand to include all Android phones in Ukraine in the coming days. Thank you to our engineering, product, and UX teams for working so quickly to find a solution.”- Dave Burke on Twitter
Aside from the Air Raid Alerts system, Google has been working on the following projects:
Google’s Threat Analysis Group has focused on the safety and security of its users in Ukraine and surrounding regions, observing activity from threat actors such as FancyBear and Ghostwriter.
The development of methods where businesses in neighboring countries can flag if they are providing services such as free or discounted accommodation to Ukrainian refugees. As Google compiles the information it will make it possible for people to find these places on Search and Maps.
Google’s spaces and resources, such as the Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw (Poland), will be made available for local NGOs to provide legal and psychological support to Ukrainian refugees. This is on top of Google’s $10 million commitment to local organizations helping refugees arriving in Poland.
Google is continuing to limit global recommendations for several Russian state-funded media outlets, such as the RT and Sputnik apps being removed from the Play Store, as stipulated by the EU’s Council Regulation.
Google ads have already been paused in Russia, and the search giant has also paused the vast majority of its commercial activities within the country. This means that Russian-based advertisers, new Cloud sign-ups, payment services, and monetization features for YouTube viewers in Russia have ceased. Free services such as Gmail, Search, and YouTube are still able to be used within Russia.
Finally, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine serves as a reminder to the United States and Europe that democracy must be carefully nurtured to survive. We hope that the people of Ukraine, as well as every other country in the world, can find safety and peace in the face of aggression, disease, or famine.
Written By: Nancy Gasua