Twitter has started lobbying. Here’s how much they spent.

October 22, 2013

(Mary Turner/Getty Images)

Among tech companies, Twitter is relatively new to the Washington influence game. It wasn't until late this summer that the company established its first political action committee in the nation's capital. But with an IPO looming, Twitter has begun spending small amounts on Capitol Hill, as if to test the waters.

Yesterday, the company filed its first-ever lobbying disclosure report — an account of how much it spent in the previous quarter and on what issues. A look inside suggests that the company is already deep into some of Silicon Valley's biggest policy issues.

Altogether, Twitter spent about $40,000 lobbying Congress, according to the filing. That's pocket change compared to the likes of Microsoft and AT&T, which spent $2.2 million and $4.3 million, respectively. But that hasn't kept the social media company from engaging lawmakers on major topics of national import. Here's a short list of some of the issues and bills it's dealt with:

  • Do Not Track
  • Reforms to the FISA process and NSA surveillance
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • Patents and patent trolls
  • High-skilled immigration
  • Net neutrality and internet governance
  • CISPA and cybersecurity

Twitter may be a recent addition to Washington's lobbying scene. But it's quickly settling in — and if its early records are any indication, the company could become a key ally to civil liberties groups.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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