[news=http://www.google.com/images/google_sm.gif]Mr. Google Goes to Washington
Search giant dispatches lobbyist to D.C. and merges Google Local with Google Maps.
October 6, 2005
Google hired its first lobbyist in Washington, D.C., the search engine said Thursday, as the Internet powerhouse seeks a voice in the capitol with the U.S. government increasingly playing a role in shaping online policy.
For its advocate job, Google appointed Alan Davidson, associate director of the nonprofit civil liberties group the Center for Democracy and Technology.
The search giant also officially launched its Google Local service, merging together the beta version of the service with its Google Maps service
The move came only a day after rival Yahoo acquired the local events-listing site, Upcoming.org, to integrate with its own Yahoo Local search capabilities (see Yahoo Buys Upcoming.org).
The Mountain View, California-based search giant sees a presence in Washington as a necessity as government becomes more involved in the Net’s development. Among its efforts, the government has worked to shield private U.S. companies from demands by the United Nations and other countries for multilateral control of the Net.
“Our mission in Washington boils down to this: Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication, and innovation,” wrote Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy counsel at Google, in a blog posting.