How Much Does Your ISP Spend on Lobbying?

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Paul Bischoff gives us a breakdown of the top 25 lobbying spenders in 2018, and how much they spent.

2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million. Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.

Silicon Valley Lobbyists Want to Limit California Consumer Privacy Act

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Silicon Valley lobbying groups are trying to gut the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, gives residents of California the ability to request the data that businesses collect on them, demand that it be deleted, and opt out of having that data sold to third parties, among other things. But last week, the California Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection advanced a series of bills that would either amend CCPA or carve out exemptions for certain categories of businesses.

I have a couple of opinions here. I think groups affected by a certain bill or law should have the right to voice their opinion. On the other hand I feel uneasy by corporate lobbying focused on donating or influencing political campaigns where there is a conflict of interest.

Apple Outspent by Rivals in Record Year of Tech Lobbying

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U.S. Capitol Building

Tech firms spent a record amount lobbying the U.S. Government in 2018. Re/Code reported that Apple spent $6.6 million, slightly down from $7.2 million the year before. Although significant, Apple’s outlay was lower than that of the other major tech firms. For example, Google spent $21 million, while Amazon spent $14.2 million, and Facebook spent $12.6 million. Microsoft too outspent Apple, spending $9.5 million. In total, the firms invested $48 million in lobbying in 2018, up 13% from the year before.

Lobbying growth among the tech giants — especially companies that leverage user data for advertising revenue — comes as they are falling under increased government scrutiny. Facebook in particular faces a record Federal Trade Commission fine over apparent violations of data privacy practices in the Cambridge Analytica scandal that was revealed last year.