Stories of the FTC or other government agencies pushing on tech companies are quite common, but it seems that the industry is really starting to make it a priority to push back. While we won’t see any direct attacks on government agencies obviously, we are seeing an increase in the amount of money being spent on lobbying. Lobbying for change in Washington is a huge industry, and has been proven very effective for many years.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine what a particular company will be pushing for, but some assumptions can be made based on interactions in recent years. Privacy is always going to be a big battle between tech companies and the government. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook don’t want to have to give up the information of their users when law enforcement wants it. Also, regulatory impacts on things like environmental impacts of data centers and other facilities are a major concern.
Companies recently released their most recent spending on lobbying, and it is no small number. Google spent $4.17 million lobbying Congress, Oracle spent $3.82 million, Amazon spent $3.41 million, Facebook spent $2.85 million, Apple spent $1.86 million, and Twitter spent $120,000.
The money is being spent in a variety of ways, including sending lawyers to Washington to testify on November 1st on the issues related to Russia’s influence on the 2016 election. Russia is believed to have purchased ads and taken other actions to manipulate voters.
This isn’t a defense, but rather a push back against the desire that many congressional members have to increase regulations.