Twitter has its very own political action committee and appointed lobbyist in Washington as of Friday, bringing the company into the club of tech companies vying for the ear of Congress.
According to a Washington Post report on the new PAC, which is actually called Twitter#PAC, the San Francisco-based company intends to use its new resources to lobby on "internet freedom, government access to user data, patent reform and freedom of expression," spokesperson Jim Prosser said in a statement.
The current policy manager for the company, William Carty, is now Twitter's Washington lobbyist. Carty worked as an aide to Republican members of the House and Senate before joining Twitter. He'll be joined by new Washington policy spokesperson Nu Wexler, who previously worked for Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal. While their operation is much smaller than either Microsoft or Google's Washington wing, the Post lays out the donation history and political makeup of their lobbying arms for comparison:
Microsoft’s PAC donations to politicians in 2012 totaled $2.2 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Facebook, which had PAC donations of $277,000 in 2012, has drawn heavily from former Obama and Bush administration officials for its Washington office.
Between 2011 and 2012, Google’s PAC donated $313,500 to Republican majority members of the House and $262,000 to Democrats.
Twitter, unlike many of its major tech company cohorts, was not named as a participant in the NSA's PRISM data collection program. And the company has tried to make it pretty clear that they're against it, even leaving some hints on how many FISA court orders they've gotten. But the company has also come under fire for its own forays into the use of account data in its advertising model.