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Google's New Lobbying Power in Washington 167

*SECADM writes "Learning from Microsoft's error, Google is building a lobbying power house in Washington." From the Washington Post article: Two years ago, Google was on the verge of making that Microsoft-like error. Davidson, then a 37-year-old former deputy director of the Center for Democracy & Technology, was the search-engine company's sole staff lobbyist in Washington. As recently as last year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin had trouble getting meetings with members of Congress. To change that, Google went on a hiring spree and now has 12 lobbyists and lobbying-related professionals on staff here — more than double the size of the standard corporate lobbying office — and is continuing to add people.

Privacy Group Gives Google Lowest Possible Grade 260

The Washington Post is reporting on a finding by London-based group Privacy International. In a new report, they find that Google has some of the worst privacy-protection practices anywhere on the web, giving them the lowest possible grade. "While a number of other Internet companies have troubling policies, none comes as close to Google to 'achieving status as an endemic threat to privacy,' Privacy International said in an explanation of its findings. In a statement from one of its lawyers, Google said it aggressively protects its users' privacy and stands behind its track record. In its most conspicuous defense of user privacy, Google last year successfully fought a U.S. Justice Department subpoena demanding to review millions of search requests."

Outcry Over Google's Purchase of Doubleclick 242

TheCybernator writes to mention that several activist groups have cried out in protest of the Google buyout of Doubleclick reported in recent news. "'Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,' said the complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission. 'Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security, and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.' The complaint was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center along with the Center for Digital Democracy and the US Public Interest Research Group, all of which are involved in online privacy issues."

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."