Transparency

Standards of business conduct

Like all Google employees, our Public Policy and Government Affairs team follows Google’s Code of Conduct. At the core of this code is the mantra, “don’t be evil.” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally—following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.

Oversight and Compliance

Google’s Public Policy and Government Affairs team interacts with government and elected officials to explain our products and promote the growth of the web. In the United States, this team is led by Susan Molinari, Google’s VP of Public Policy & Government Affairs, who works directly with Google’s Chief Legal Officer, who reports to Google’s CEO.

Google also has an Ethics & Compliance team, which works with outside ethics counsel to ensure compliance with all relevant political laws and the associated filings and reports.

Political contribution policies and criteria for assessing candidates

Google’s political spending decisions are based exclusively on what’s best for Google and an open Internet. Personal political preferences of Google executives, directors and employees play no part whatsoever in these decisions.

U.S. campaign finance law prohibits Google from making direct contributions to federal political candidates. But Google has many employees who want to support an open Internet. So, in 2006, we created the Google NetPAC, a Political Action Committee. The NetPAC is a transparent, regulated system that allows Googlers to join together and support candidates who share our common values. Additionally, NetPAC campaign contributions are never made in return for, or in anticipation of, an official act.

We base our giving decisions on a number of factors, most importantly, the policy stances of individual candidates. Other factors we consider include:

The Google NetPAC Board of Directors—a bipartisan group of senior Googlers—takes all the final decisions about the contributions made by NetPAC.

While U.S. federal law doesn’t allow corporate political contributions, many states do. In states where laws permit these contributions, Google may participate with the sole goal of promoting what’s good for an open Internet. Again, these contributions are closely overseen by Google’s VP of Public Policy & Government Affairs, along with Google’s Director of State Public Policy, and are also reviewed by Google’s Ethics & Compliance team and outside ethics counsel. The private political preferences of Google executives, directors and employees do not influence political contributions in any way.

Google NetPAC contributions

You can view a detailed report of Google NetPAC contributions below:

Contributions – States

You can view a detailed report of Google’s corporate political contributions to candidates in states that permit them below:

Lobbying disclosure filings

Google regularly discloses information on our federal and state lobbying activities. You can view our federal lobbying disclosures for the past several years below:

Memberships

Google belongs to a number of trade associations and other organizations, representing the broad range of issues that we care about. We choose these memberships and sponsorships after carefully determining that each organization can help advance the open Internet, our issues, partner with us to shape meaningful policy discussions and help us engage with key constituencies and organizations. Google’s sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn’t mean that we endorse the organizations’ entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions nor the views of its leaders or members. The following is a representative listing for 2013-2014 of politically-engaged trade associations and other tax-exempt groups that receive the most substantial contributions from Google’s U.S. Public Policy and Government Affairs team. We link to each organization’s website, where you can read more about the group:

Trade Associations and Membership Organizations

Our U.S. Public Policy and Government Affairs team provides support to a number of independent third-party organizations whose work intersects in some way with technology and Internet policy. While this list is continually evolving, some examples of these organizations are:

Third Party Organizations

Google Policy Fellowship program

The Google Policy Fellowship program was inspired by Google’s Summer of Code with a public policy twist.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests.

Fellows have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more. Participating organizations are based in either Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA, Ottawa or Toronto, Canada, and include:

To learn more, visit the Google Policy Fellowship website.