So Google has hired some Washington lobbyists. So what?
Some people have cast the company as a poster child for the altruism so often associated with the philosophical origins of the Internet. Even if that were true, the fact is that Google is a for-profit enterprise--and, as a publicly held company, it could arguably be remiss in its fiduciary responsibilities if it did not take effective measures to represent the interests of its shareholders--and that includes lobbying Congress.
The enormously important issue of "Net neutrality" is only the latest reason that the technology industry has long needed to grow up, where politics is concerned. And as News.com has pointed out in its "Silicon money" series this week, tech companies are simply catching up with the rest of the corporate world.
Blog community response:
"Personally, I'm glad Google is lobbying the old fashioned way. We're getting creamed by the other side's ability to work Congress."
--JoHo the Blog
"The net neutrality debate is heating up, and this time billions are at stake. Back in the 1990s John Doerr and other tech luminaries created TechNet in an attempt to rally the tech world into realizing that the industry needed to play, and hard, on Capitol Hill. This time no rallying cry is needed."
--John Battelle's Searchblog
"Regardless of what you think about the Net Neutrality debate, there are only a handful of big players who have taken the side of legislated mandates. And, the DRM effort was such a blip on the radar screen that one could hardly point to it as a first link to a trend. And, in both instances, you can easily argue that the effort for legislation or language is a defensive response to the efforts of other huge, powerful industries."
--The 463 Inside Tech Policy