Civil Liberties

Google Latches on to Political Society


Apropos of my article today, we get news of Google's fancy soiree this past weekend. Unfortunately, it wasn't to announce a new service, the company's much-anticipated foray into cell phone service, or to demonstrate some other bit of newly-minted Google genius. It was, regrettably, to celebrate the opening of Google's first D.C. lobbying office.

The Cato institute's David Boaz has a standard op-ed he writes on each sad occasion that an upstart company setting the world on fire has to take the unfortunate step of protecting its interests from predation by hiring a cadre of lobbyists, consultants, and lawyers to fight in Washington—money the company could otherwise be giving to engineers and developers instead of pissing away into the parasitic Beltway economy.

You can't blame Google for protecting itself, though I'd guess it's only a matter of time before even don't-be-evil Google begins to play the rent-seeking game, too.