Back in October we pointed out that Google was opening a lobbying office in D.C. Today, Matt Marshall in Silicon Beat points to an article in the Wall Street Journal (subscribers only) about Google and other tech company lobbying efforts in D.C. The post is titled: Google’s one employee in Washington.
The WSJ article itself includes comments from Alan Davidson, Google’s D.C. employee, who says the company will soon grow its DC operation and who has already hired an outside lobbying firm to handle tax issues.
“Carrier control over Internet activity is bad for consumers,” counters Alan Davidson, a telecom lawyer hired by Google last summer to build the company’s Washington office. The proposal would stifle innovation of Internet services, he says. It also might add to Google’s operating costs. “We’re not worried consumers won’t be able to reach Google. The real threat is to the next Google and to the services that are important for consumers,” he says.
The hiring of Mr. Davidson, who served as associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit civil-liberties group, underscores Google’s recognition that it can no longer ignore Washington. Recently, Mr. Davidson hired an outside lobbying firm to handle tax issues. He says he plans on “bulking up the operation” soon, characterizing a Google fight against the Bells as “a David-versus-Goliath story.”
Postscript: If you’re interested in tracking lobbying efforts by Google and other companies and organizations, a service such as PoliticalMoneyLine can be a big help. Most services are fee-based but others are free.