Apple Spent $7 Million in 2017 Lobbying the U.S. Government Over Encryption, Immigration, and More

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A new report out today by Recode examined how major technology companies spent a record amount of money lobbying the United States government in 2017, over issues like net neutrality, encryption, immigration, and more. In total, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google spent about $50 million lobbying the government last year, and of that Apple alone spent $7 million.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attending an executive tech summit at Trump Tower in 2016

Apple's spending on lobbying grew from just over $4 million in 2014 to about $4.5 million in 2015 and 2016, before greatly increasing to $7 million in 2017. In terms of lobbying, this was a record spending amount for the company, and Apple's areas of focus were said to have been encryption and immigration. The last time Apple's lobbying amount emerged was in July 2017, when it was reported that Apple spent $2.2 million lobbying the government between April 1 and June 30, 2017.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google cumulatively racked up a roughly $50 million tab fighting off President Donald Trump and an onslaught of new federal regulations last year — a reflection that the tech industry is increasingly under political siege in the nation’s capital.

And Apple shelled out $7 million — again, more than ever — to lobby the U.S. government over the same period. The iPhone giant continued to press forward on issues like encryption and immigration. And the company — like the rest of the industry — advocated for the tax reform law recently signed by Trump.

For the other companies, Google spent the most at more than $18 million in lobbying last year, Amazon spent more than $12.8 million, and Facebook spent $11.5 million. Google spent to "stave off new regulations targeting the content and ads" on its search engine and YouTube, while Amazon advocated for "friendlier federal rules" on online sales tax, cloud computing, and package delivery drones. Much of Facebook's 2017 lobbying was focused on its fight against "fake news" in newsfeeds.

Apple has found itself speaking out against the Trump administration for many topics over the past year. In 2017, it began with President Trump's executive order on immigration, then included protections for transgender students, environmental topics like climate change and the Paris climate deal, an overhaul to H-1B work visas, and the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The fight for DACA has continued into 2018, as well as Apple's support for a program that protects the spouses of those with H-1B visas.

Because of the ongoing lobbying, Recode reported that the technology industry's 2017 political activities "may only presage a tougher and costlier clash with Washington, D.C., in the year to come."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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36 months ago

Honestly, this does not concern me. If any company would make me feel at ease with their lobbying, it’s Apple.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to ethics, there is no comparison between Apple and the current presidential administration.

I’m an Apple fan, but let’s be honest. There is no ethic whatsoever in any corporation and politicians of any administration. They’re just money and power being disguised as surface ethical speeches.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago
Honestly, this does not concern me. If any company would make me feel at ease with their lobbying, it’s Apple.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to ethics, there is no comparison between Apple and the current presidential administration.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago

Honestly, this does not concern me. If any company would make me feel at ease with their lobbying, it’s Apple.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to ethics, there is no comparison between Apple and the current presidential administration.

This is widely up for debate

Thanks for thinking by being one of the first to reply to the thread, you have the moral high ground and ultimate authority on ethics

Tim is a virtue signaling globalist Schumer-like obsessed establishment-liberal-weirdo with dreamers always at the forefront of his mind, ahem low wages.

The $350 billion investment in USA is tremendous but it’s like drudge said:

“Tim discovers America!”
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago
$7 million? That's… a lot less than I would have guessed, actually.

But very interesting how Recode worded their article. "Fighting off President Donald Trump and an onslaught of new federal regulations?" Has Trump's administration really resulted in more of an "onslaught" of regulation than Obama's? I highly doubt that.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago

Honestly, this does not concern me. If any company would make me feel at ease with their lobbying, it’s Apple.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to ethics, there is no comparison between Apple and the current presidential administration.

Ah yes, because it's so ethical to lobby politicians right?

The mental gymnastics the left does lately are hilarious, and to think I was a long time democrat.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago

I’m an Apple fan, but let’s be honest. There is no ethic whatsoever in any corporation and politicians of any administration. They’re just money and power being disguised as surface ethical speeches.

And let's be honest, Lobbying is just a word they like to use so they don't have to call it bribery. But that's what it is. My guess is if I try to "Lobby" a police officer that I was not speeding, I would be in jail.
[doublepost=1516735105][/doublepost]

Ah yes, because it's so ethical to lobby politicians right?

The mental gymnastics the left does lately are hilarious, and to think I was a long time democrat.

If a word is used in a non-threatening manner long enough by politicians, people think it's an innocent part of politics. Lobbying is one such word.
[doublepost=1516735937][/doublepost]

As long as that money is being spent on information campaigns and not bribery, I don't have a problem with it.

That's just it, it IS bribery. These politicians are given working budgets to hire people to research the info they need to make decisions. Corporations and organizations going to Washington for "information campaigns" is nothing more than very thing you think it's not.

Government needs to make an informed decision without feeling like their personal income depends on it.

Have you seen the net worth of these people when they FINALLY leave office? Not to mention the lifetime benefits we all provide them with. I'm not sure about you, but when I retire, my healthcare is 100% on me. And I might as well forget the social security they steal from me each month.

Fun fact: In light of the recent government shutdown, did you know there is a law that prevents Congress from working without pay during a shutdown? That's right, the very people responsible for NOT shutting down the government continue to get paid during something they are in charge of preventing. (here comes the sarcasm) But those blood sucking leaches of our Military?, they can just suck it up and work for free till they figure it out. Serves them right huh? I mean what have they done for us lately anyway? Politics first right!?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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