Analysis: Lobbyists with government backgrounds hired to help net neutrality
Turns out there are proportionally as many pro-net neutrality lobbyists being hired from government as those on the other sides, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.
In a blog post today, Sunlight said Google and Microsoft, proponents of net neutrality rules for broadband providers, have hired 112 former government officials to lobby as Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have both pushed new broadband Internet policies.
For the first three months of 2010, seventy-four percent of the lobbyists hired by both Google and Microsoft have previous experience in government, according to data obtained from the Center for Responsive Politics and lobbyist disclosure forms. This is a very similar number when compared to the percentage of former government officials hired to lobby for the top six telecommunications organizations.
The report follows an analysis of telecom and cable company lobbying on net neutrality by the nonprofit group focused on government transparency.
To be sure, Google is a strong backer of net neutrality and the corporate face of the policy push by the FCC and Obama administration. Microsoft is, too, but has been a bit more nuanced in its position over the past year, warning that regulation shouldn't go too far.
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