back to article Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

Moneybags Google has topped the list of tech-giant political lobbyists again, spending $4.62m in the past three months alone in Washington DC and elbowing its way into an enormous range of issues. That's according to a declaration filed by Google that companies are legally obliged to submit to US Congress. The multimillion- …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can you do a U.K. version please? along with links to companies benefiting from government money or which M.P.'s are silent directors of corporations?

    I used to like Continuum until it went off topic...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obama

      Google far surpassed that number with contributions to Obama-related PACs, with $12.5Million indirectly going to Obama's campaigns. That's not including hidden money sent to special "lobbyists" that indirectly shovel money to Pres. Don't forget his Caymen Islands back account mentioned in the 2012 debates that we aren't supposed to talk about.

      1. Shannon Jacobs
        Holmes

        Ball-less liar

        Can't even put your own name on your insane crap? Go back to FAUX 'news', eh?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ball-less liar

          Really?

          Are you really trying to tell me that corporations don't grease the wheels of government with their dirty money. Next you will be telling me that the tax laws are working perfectly and the same companies are not lobbying/paying governments so they don't change them.

          I'll just leave this link here,

          http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/

          d/1LjHItmGe93heEHRsdICmK810kiYEfd3jlRknne8Tbyc/edit#gid=0

          I would link properly but I don't have 100 posts...

          I prefer Anon because to be honest posting non-anon I find that commentards (even though I have been using this site for 10+ years) and the site in general a bit of a clique sometimes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ball-less liar

            Are you really trying to tell me that corporations don't grease the wheels of government with their dirty money. Next you will be telling me that the tax laws are working perfectly and the same companies are not lobbying/paying governments so they don't change them.

            I'll do you a favour and set up a proper link for your spreadsheet, although that is the declared part of the story.

            Let us, for instance, not forget that we had a Prime Minister once who saw nothing wrong with attending the launch of a new version of Windows (I think it was W2K, but it has been carefully scrubbed from the Net so hard to verify), and whose reign involved taking in a LOT of consultants in places which were previously taken by civil servants, thus tripling costs, but exporting that part of the tax payer's generosity into private pockets. Let me illustrate this by one example:

            Daily rate of a "Microsoft consultant" to UK government: approx. £1200

            Recruitment ads abroad for contractors for this work: €500/day

            You do the math.

            It really is no surprise that no IT project has actually delivered in that era - I find it hard to convince myself that actually delivering something was even an aim..

  2. silent_count

    Land of the (certainly not) Free

    If one is willing to assume that Google's people know what they're doing, it's a sad state of affairs that the best way to improve their business is to buy politicians rather than spend the same amount on improving their existing products or researching new ones.

  3. Turtle

    Clarification.

    "The sheer depth of issues covered by Google's lobbying team [...] including many aspects of cybersecurity, online advertising, anything that will help Google hasten the destruction of the last feeble and rapidly-dying vestiges of online privacy,..."

    Better now.

  4. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    All your attention are belong to the google!

    The motto of today's google is "All your attention are belong to us!" They are no longer just being carried along for the ride--they are bribing the pols who are driving the train wreck just like the rest of the scummiest companies in America, and don't give me any of those "fight fire with fire" excuses, cause I've seen the results of today's google.

    Hard for me to believe that I ever bought the "Don't be evil" thing, though for a while I imagined it could be fixed. Maybe "Don't be evil or support criminals" could have helped? (Like fixing the corporate goal of making the world's information available so that it would consider protecting private information?)

    Don't much matter, however. Google is just supporting the American "government of the corporations, by the lawyers, for the richest 0.1%" as Abe Lincoln said at Gettysburg. Whatever, eh?

    For you whippersnappers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us

    1. tacitust

      Re: All your attention are belong to the google!

      So would you rather Google not lobby for Net Neutrality and let the ISPs and telecoms have their own way -- i.e. soaring prices, low data caps, throttled traffic, toll-lanes, etc.?

      Yeah, the system is broken beyond belief, and lobbyists with deep pockets have far too much say, but while this system exists, if companies like Google don't get their say in, others far less scrupulous will be more than happy to step into the gap.

      The US electoral system desperately needs serious campaign finance reform (amongst a host of other reforms), and sadly it seems very unlikely anything will happen in the near future, but absent a real solution, I'd rather companies like Google remain (transparently) engaged, if only because much worse could and will happen if they don't.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No news here

    In the U.S. virtually every politician and government agency is for sale to the highest bidder. The FCC and FTC have been bought off by criminal companies who reap fortunes by being able to violate U.S. laws with complete impunity. The POTUS has allowed criminals to be freed, he's illegally tried to circumvent U.S. immigration laws, he is a racist, liar and evil person who has done more damage to the U.S. than any terrorists in history. Virtually every U.S. politician in DC is bought and paid for. Is it any surprise the U.S. as a country is going down the toilet?

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: No news here

      Yup. Everyone savvy in the US knows you don't bother voting, but you do belong to lobbying organizations like the AARP, NRA, AMA, etc.

      The AMA I belong to (there are LOTS of them) is the American Motorcycle Association, and I specifically fund the fight against ethanol in gasoline. We managed to get Florida's mandatory ethanol law revoked last year and now I have two stations near me with ethanol-free pumps.

      I also fund the anti-helmet law fight, because I like knowing at a glance if a rider I meet is an idiot or not. In 30 years I have only ridden twice without a helmet.

      I also belong to the NRA despite not owning (or planning to own) a gun. Just to thwart Obama.

      I just wish there was a lobby group for space (well, one that did something) so I could put pressure for more of that.

  6. Mikel

    Fit

    Google is the world's second largest technology company in the world by market cap - after Apple. It is meet that they spend more to educate lawmakers and policy makers. Especially since their chief rival Microsoft spends several times more but launders it through Astroturf consumer and industry advocacy groups who don't report as part of the Microsoft total.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Fit

      So how much does Apple spend?

      Or does Tim Cook do it all himself?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fit

      Especially since their chief rival Microsoft spends several times more but launders it through Astroturf consumer and industry advocacy groups who don't report as part of the Microsoft total.

      You mean, like Google may launder its effort to massage the truth through adjusting search engine algorithms? In my opinion, Google and Microsoft are virtually identical in the way they mistreat their customers and legal environment.

      Basically they're all at it, and the recipients of this largesse are busy doing their damnest to find new names for it instead of calling it what it is: bribery.

  7. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Cheap

    Its Chickenfeed compared to what the aerospace, entertainment and farming lobbies pay.

  8. Number6

    I'd like to see how much they spend on lawyers. I suspect a million before legislation getting it right[*] is worth tens or hundreds of millions afterwards trying to fix the damage.

    [*] Use any definition of 'right' you want here...

  9. Youngone Silver badge

    Surprise!

    This is how large businesses and industry groups deal with the US government.

    They don't really have a choice, the US government hung the For Sale sign out a long time ago.

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