In eight short years, Google has gone from being America’s 213th-biggest corporate spender on lobbying to being the runner-up. That might not sit well with those who were enamored with the company’s “do no evil” motto or Silicon Valley’s penchant for non-corporate corporations, but it reflects an increasingly important relationship between Uncle Sam and Big Tech. The Washington Post reports:
The company gives money to nearly 140 business trade groups, advocacy organizations and think tanks, according to a Post analysis of voluntary disclosures by the company, which, like many corporations, does not reveal the size of its donations. That’s double the number of groups Google funded four years ago.This summer, Google will move to a new Capitol Hill office, doubling its Washington space to 55,000 square feet—roughly the size of the White House.
Take the time to read the whole thing. This is an issue we’ve been following for quite some time now, and it’s one that will figure more prominently in the coming years. Silicon Valley needs states to stand up for its interests in a world where intellectual property can be stolen with a keystroke. Similarly, Washington needs Silicon Valley to stoke innovation; Big Tech will be the engine of the information economy, just as manufacturing firms drove the industrial economy.