The announcement of the changes sparked concern among privacy watchdogs both in the United States and the European Union. “Consumers’ online privacy is being eroded,” growled John Simpson, a consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog.
“They’ve decided to play the corrupt corporate cash and carry Washington (game) like many firms such as Microsoft have long done,” John Simpson, a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, told CNET. “What sets them apart, though, is they still hold themselves out to be different from the rest.”
Google’s spending caught the eye of its critics. The group Consumer Watchdog, which consistently targets Google, accused the company’s executives of having “no qualms about spending lots of money to get their way.”
Consumer Watchdog is one such organization that took umbrage to Google’s lobbying spend, which is up 88 percent from 2010. The consumer advocate said Google has abandoned its “Don’t Be Evil” roots by buying into “Washington’s corrupt “cash and carry” political system.
Consumer Watchdog condemned the increased lobbying by web services. Google “has abandoned its idealistic ‘Don’t Be Evil’ roots and has bought into Washington’s corrupt ‘cash and carry’ political system,” the consumer group said. “Facebook, relatively new to the Washington lobbying scene, now appears headed down the same morally bankrupt path as Google,” Consumer Watchdog said. Facebook declined to respond. Google didn’t answer a request for comment.
A consumer group on Wednesday penned a letter to European regulators asking them to block the pending merger of Google and Motorola Mobility on anticompetitive grounds.
A U.S. consumer advocacy group has written to the European Commission asking it to block Google’s deal to acquire Motorola and to launch an investigation into the Internet giant’s alleged anti-competitive behavior.
BRUSSELS – Consumer Watchdog, a U.S.-based consumer advocacy group, today called for the EU’s antitrust regulators to block Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and ultimately issue a formal antitrust complaint against the Internet giant’s ongoing business practices.
WASHINGTON, DC – Internet giant Google spent nearly $10 million lobbying federal policymakers in 2012, showing that the company has abandoned its idealistic “Don’t Be Evil” roots and has bought into Washington’s corrupt “cash and carry” political system, Consumer Watchdog said today.
It’s no secret that former CEO and current Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has been spending more time in the Beltway, helping with government relations. In fact, Schmidt is actually going to testify before the Senate on possible Google antitrust issues. Because of his increased presence in D.C., public interest organization Consumer Watchdog is actually calling for Schmidt’s activities in Washington D.C. to be scrutinized to see if he needs to register formally as a lobbyist.
SANTA MONICA, CA — Google and Facebook pumped record amounts into their lobbying efforts during the second quarter, according to just filed disclosure reports. Google’s spending soared to $2.06 million, a 54 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Facebook spent $320,000 — nearly as much as its total lobbying expenses for all of last year.
Some of the issues Google focused on include competition in online advertising, online privacy and security, free trade, censorship, the H.R. 399 bill and trademark issues. Google’s presence in the U.S. government is spurring some policy watchers, like Consumer Watchdog to call for Eric Schmidt to register as a lobbyist. “Schmidt could well have reached the threshold requiring registration as a lobbyist; he is clearly trying to influence policy,” said John M. Simpson, Director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group’s Privacy Project. “It certainly should be checked out.”
Google’s increasing influence in Washington is setting off alarm bells for some policy watchers. California-based public interest group Consumer Watchdog is calling for Google chairman Eric Schmidt to register formally as a lobbyist, since he personally is spending increasing amounts of time working in government relations. “Schmidt could well have reached the threshold requiring registration as a lobbyist; he is clearly trying to influence policy,” said Consumer Watchdog director John Simpson in a press release issued Thursday. “It certainly should be checked out.”