July 1, 2013

Creeping Tech Cronyism

Adam Thierer

Senior Research Fellow

Brent Skorup

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

High-tech America is getting increasingly cozy with Washington, and the result could be costly for the public as both consumers and taxpayers.

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High-tech America is getting increasingly cozy with Washington, and the result could be costly for the public as both consumers and taxpayers.

Cronyism, which generally refers to a corrupting affiliation between government and special interests, has long been a problem in traditional communications and media sectors. Today, unfortunately, favor-seeking is spreading to newer information technology sectors.

Internet companies and other high-tech giants are among the fastest-growing lobbying shops in Washington these days. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, lobbying spending by information technology companies has almost doubled since the turn of the century, from roughly $200 million in 2000 to $390 million in 2012. The computing and Internet sector has been responsible for most of that growth in recent years.

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