Congressman Boucher’s ties to Google may explain comments

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Congressman Boucher’s ties to Google may explain comments

    Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va, chairman of the Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee took a potshot at us this week. Folks at Consumer Watchdog have thick skins so we don’t really mind at all. I just figure you should have the context for the representative’s remarks.

    We made the point recently that Google’s Wi-Spying activity could have snooped on home Wi-Fi networks of members of Congress, some of whom are involved in national security issues.

    We thought the investigation helped members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee focus their minds on the need to hold a hearing where CEO Eric Schmidt testifies under oath.

    In Thursday’s widely respected daily briefing, Politico’s Morning Tech, Boucher said our effort was “the single most absurd thing I’ve ever seen happen this year.” Here’s more of what Politico reported:

    “The company acknowledged on its own, without somebody shining the light on it, that they have inadvertently as part of their Street View process collected data that came from Wi-Fi hotspots,” Boucher told us. “It was inadvertent, this was not an intentional act, and I think we need to accept that at face value and move on.” He later said the breach likely did not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act because he did not believe “that act can be infringed negligently.”

    So why is the chairman of the subcommittee most responsible for jurisdiction over online commerce carrying the Internet giant’s water.

    Context is all important.

    Consider this. So far in the 2010 election cycle the old boy from Virginia is the top recipient of cash contributions from from Google’s political action committee, Google Inc. NetPAC. He got $10,000. Google’s contracted lobbying firms coughed up at least another $5,500 for him. From 2006 when NetPAC was established through 2010 Boucher received $18,000.

    And then there’s Washington’s favorite revolving-door approach to life and policy making.

    Andrew Wright is a lobbyist for Dutko Worldwide and registered to lobby on behalf of Google.  According to his bio on the firm’s website, “Andy twice served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA), beginning in 1982 after managing Boucher’s first Congressional campaign. For more than a decade, Andy advised Boucher on issues including energy, telecommunications, intellectual property and insurance.”  Wright has contributed $1,750 to Rep. Boucher in the 2010 cycle.

    Johanna Shelton is in Google’s in-house lobby shop as senior policy counsel. She joined Google in 2007 from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where she was counsel from 2005-2007. Previously she worked for Boucher in 2001-2003 as counsel and was at the FCC 1998-2001 as a staff attorney.

    Sure, I’ve done more than one absurd thing in my life and will probably do more, but this is a case where context is all important. It may also explain why Boucher’s so-called online privacy bill does so little for consumers.

    , , , , ,

    Leave a Reply

    Celine Handbagsceline purseceline bag priceceline luggageceline taschenceline clutchceline onlinecheap ray ban sunglasses