Twitter's quiet power play

Without fanfare, Twitter has upped its lobbying presence in Washington by joining The Internet Association.

The company's name was quietly slipped this week into a statement about the newest association member, the ratings website Yelp, but no formal announcement about Twitter's involvement with the group was made.

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Both Twitter and The Internet Association confirmed to The Hill that the company is now part of the trade group.

Since the association launched in September 2012 with the backing of 14 companies, including Google, Yahoo and Facebook, it has grown to 35 members and become one of the top-spending tech groups in Washington.

Looking solely at trade groups in the computer and Internet sector, The Internet Association ranked second in lobby spending in 2013, with $1.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

It falls only behind the much more senior Entertainment Software Association — founded in 1994 as the Interactive Digital Software Association — which spent more than $5.2 million in 2013, CRP data says.

Twitter has ramped up its D.C. presence recently, registering its first lobbyist — Will Carty — and flexing its muscles on issues such as government surveillance.

The company this week threatened to sue the Obama administration for the ability to release more information about the government’s requests for user data.

Twitter is also part of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition that’s pushing back against the National Security Agency and government surveillance worldwide.