So much for don’t be evil. According to a report in the Washington Post Google has become a powerhouse in the game of corporate influence peddling. From lobbying to contributions to funding think tanks Google has been cynically buying influence to influence regulators in the federal government even to the point of organizing Google friendly professors to defend Google from charges of monopolizing search before officials at the Federal Trade Commission under the guise of academic events at George Mason University.
Google setup multiple events at GMU during an 18 month investigation into Google’s search practices, Google was ultimately let off the hook.
Nine years ago, the company opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of the capital’s pay-to-play culture.
Since then, Google has soared to near the top of the city’s lobbying ranks, placing second only to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012 and fifth place in 2013.
Google has doubled the number of groups it funded four years ago, up to nearly 140 think tanks, business associations, and political groups.
Previously Google relied on it’s own transparent message of providing information to the world, but now it wants to launder its agenda through the craven and worn forces of Washington. Instead of demonstrating value Google is more concerned with protecting power.
Google, previously considered a company primarily tied to Democrats has decided to buy influence across the aisle as well. Giving money to Republican politicians and doing business with conservative think tanks.
Google executives have fostered a new dialogue between Republicans and Silicon Valley, giving money to conservative groups such as Heritage Action for America and the Federalist Society. While also supporting groups on the left, Google has flown conservative activists to California for visits to its Mountain View campus and a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel.
The company has also pioneered new and unexpected ways to influence decision-makers, harnessing its vast reach. It has befriended key lawmakers in both parties by offering free training sessions to Capitol Hill staffers and campaign operatives on how to use Google products that can help target voters.
Google uses your data to help politicians target you for campaigns. I’m sure those politicians are anxious to protect your data from themselves.
Silicon Valley has worked pretty hard to destroy much of its previous good will through collaborating with the NSA to spy on Americans, now it has become undeniable that they are joining their counterparts in the telcom industry in seeing the American people merely as assets to be exploited and the federal government as a corrupt cop to be bribed.