Google is protesting SOPA, but apparently the company has given the bill’s author a total of $17,000 since 2006.
Google site reliability engineer Liz Fong-Jones writes on Google+: “Surprising thing I noticed: Google’s NetPAC has given Rep. Lamar Smith (the architect of SOPA) $17,000 over the past 6 transparency years.”
She links to this pdf showing all of Google NetPAC’s contributions.
On its U.S. Public Policy site, Google talks about Google NetPac:
We created Google NetPAC in late 2006 to support federal officeholders and candidates who share Google’s goal of promoting the Internet as a free and open platform for communication and innovation, to the benefit of our users.
Since then, we’ve set up a PAC Advisory Committee of Googlers to assist the PAC in carrying out its mission.
We base our giving decisions on a number of factors, including – and most importantly – the policy stances of Members of Congress. We support candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to Google’s public policy agenda, centered on policies to promote the continued openness and growth of the Internet. We also believe it is important to support policymakers representing the States and congressional districts where Google has operations and employees.
It looks like the last NetPac contribution to Smith was in 2010 for “Texans for Lamar Smith”. SOPA was introduced in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011.
CNN reported when Google first launched Google NetPAC: “Google NetPAC will be funded through voluntary donations from staff and will consult a wider advisory committee of Google employees on what issues should be considered for lobbying.”
Smith said he expects markup of SOPA to be continued in February, following a delay.
For more of our SOPA coverage, follow this link.