Former Google Lobbyist Resigns from White House

Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Former Googler Andrew McLaughlin resigned from the White House last week after two nearly two years as one of President Obama’s top Internet policy experts.

    McLaughlin told Politico that he was shedding the bureaucratic environment to launch two start-ups, and possibly teach.

    “My White House experience has been fantastic, but it’s been more than two years since I started working on the transition, and I’ve been feeling the itch to get entrepreneurial again,” he told Politico in an e-mail.

    McLaughlin joined the White House in March 2009. Prior to that, he was Google’s global policy officer for four years. He also co-founded the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and was named one of Time magazine’s Digital Dozen in 2000.

    However as the first deputy chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, McLaughlin received mixed reviews for how he shaped Internet policy, particularly in light of his relationship with Google.

    John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, who has criticized McLaughlin’s appointment from the start, wrote in a blog post: “It’s good he’s gone.”

    “I think McLaughlin delivered for Google, particularly in the area of online privacy,” he wrote. “This month both the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department issued reports about online privacy…The Commerce report is industry-friendly and many believe McLaughlin played a key role in shaping the report and moving Obama administration policy in that direction.”

    In May this year, McLaughlin was reprimanded for using a personal e-mail account for official business purposes. McLaughlin was cited for an ethics violation after he e-mailed Google employees – including current Google public policy director Alan Davidson and vice president Vint Cerf – about issues like net neutrality from his personal Gmail account.

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