The Guardian reports that Google has set up a PAC and a high-dollar lobbying arm to protect its network subsidies:
While Google would not be hit directly by a two-tier net, its recently acquired online video site YouTube would, and Google fears that splitting the internet could hamper the creation of other innovative businesses.
“Net neutrality is the most obvious issue for us,” says Reyes, who worked at the US state department before joining Google. “But … Congress and the government are going to take on a whole range of issues that affect us on technological fronts, on legal fronts. This is our effort to play in that game.”
Google has an impressive list of players on its team. As well as counting Al Gore among its senior advisers, Google’s Washington office was set up about a year and a half ago by Alan Davidson. A well-known Democrat sympathiser, he served for eight years as associate director of the Centre for Democracy and Technology, a thinktank that opposes government and industry control of the web. Alongside him is Robert Boorstin, a former Clinton foreign policy aide from the Centre for American Progress, as Google’s communications chief in the capital.
Google’s PAC will be run by a five-person board of directors who will be guided by the recommendations of an advisory committee made up of Google employees. It will raise its funds through voluntary donations from staff.
But judging from the fact that in the past Google employees have been involved with leftwing groups such as MoveOn.org, it will be very interesting to see where that cash is headed.
Towards the end, they tick off some of the search monopolist’s more dubious practices. Is this “don’t be evil?”
Dirty corporate money is a cancer on our political process, no matter who it comes from, folks. Google’s influence-buying operation is bad for freedom.