Google has announced formal plans to set up shop in the nation's capital.
Its mission: to keep the Internet "a free and open platform for information, communication and innovation," said Senior Policy Counsel Andrew McLaughlin.
"It seems that policymaking and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C. affect Google and our users more every day," McLaughlin wrote Thursday morning on the company's blog. "It's important to be involved--to participate in the policy process and contribute to the debates that inform it."
The new office's first recruit is Alan Davidson, formerly an associate director at the non-profit Center for Democracy and Technology.
On Google's policy priority list are issues surrounding Net neutrality, copyrights and fair use, and liability faced by it and other Web "intermediaries," such as Internet service providers. The company said it also plans to devote attention to other usual tech suspects, such as patent reform, privacy, and Net phone regulation.