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Google The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth 128

barlevg (2111272) writes "In May 2012, in the midst of an FTC investigation into Google's search practices, the law school at George Mason University in Northern Virginia hosted a conference attended by congressmen, regulators and staffers. The topic: competition, search and social media. What none of the attendees of the conference knew was that Google was pulling many of the strings behind the event, even going so far as to suggest invited speakers. This event, as documented in The Washington Post is just a snapshot of the operations of one of the largest and highest spending lobbying entities in DC, a far cry from the one-man shop it started out as nine years ago, from a company "disdainful" of Washington's "pay-to-play" culture."
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Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth

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  • by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @08:06PM (#46743259)
    If you can't beat em, bribe em.
  • by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @08:56PM (#46743505)

    No it's not that. The best thing I can see to compare it to is 2:30 into this video: (watch til at least 4:00) []

    Basically you have to pay them money in order to be allowed to do things that are already ethical, perhaps even legal to do. If you already can do these things, then you often have to put up lobbying efforts to make sure that you can continue doing them.

    For example, recall how after Google introduced gmail, California senator Liz Figueroa wanted to ban it. In that case, it took some heavy lobbying in order to keep gmail legal.

    Personally, it would have pissed me off if they would have banned it; look at how gmail has revolutionized webmail. Before gmail they used to suck horribly, the good ones gave you a whopping 10MB of storage and each action you took required an entire page reload, making them slow as fuck. Yet gmail managed to be faster than native desktop clients in everything it did, including things that native clients were horridly slow at, such as searching.

    But you know what? Often the US government (or even some state governments, like California) don't give a shit about whether or not anything is good and useful. The only thing they care about is how well their palms are greased.

  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @02:36AM (#46744689)

    nor is Cato right wing

    What, seriously? It was founded by Charles Koch, it was originally called "The Charles Koch Foundation." The Koch brothers still own it (mostly, it's a partnership) and fund it. They've been one of the primary sources of climate change denying rhetoric, their president used to be a board member of the Ayn Rand institute... how much further right can you get? They're not religiously affiliated, but they are definitely, unquestionably, right-wing.

    I can't watch the Youtube video, I'm on dial-up... ::sigh:: However, I can read the title and I know what Night Trap is, and I know that it has nothing to do with Gmail. My issue with your Gmail example is that Figueroa did not "want to ban it." She wanted to pass legislation that would prohibit Google from collecting marketing data by going through their customers' email. Cato turned that into "democratic senator attempting to prohibit innovative new business strategy" (I paraphrase) but at no point did Figueroa try to prevent Google from offering an email service, only from violating peoples' privacy.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito