Twitter has registered its first lobbyist and formed a political action committee as it looks to increase its influence in Washington, DC. "We expect to continue to play an active role in speaking up on issues related to internet freedom, government access to user data, patent reform and freedom of expression," Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser said in an email to The Verge.
The Washington Post reports that Twitter policy manager William Carty will become a registered lobbyist for the company, working from the firm’s D.C. office. Nu Wexler, previously a spokesman for Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), will become Twitter's spokesman for policy and political issues.
More pugnacious than its peers
Twitter has joined other major technology companies in calling for less secrecy when it comes to demands for user data made by federal spy agencies. The company has earned a reputation for being more pugnacious than its peers when it comes to fighting government requests. Last month Twitter said requests for user data were rising sharply. The company has also embraced patent reform, promising its engineers that it will not use their patents to sue other companies unless the move is defensive.
Forming a PAC and lobbying politicians more formally gives Twitter a seat at the table at a time when privacy and patent issues are in the headlines almost daily. Tech giants including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have all increased their spending on lobbying dramatically over the past two years. As of today, Twitter has officially joined the flock.