LobbyLeaks, new hotline to expose shady Big Tech lobbying, is launched
A new hotline for anonymous tip-offs about Big Tech lobbying is being launched today. Lobbying campaigns and tactics which either breach the EU transparency’s register code of conduct, or are considered to be an unregulated form of lobbying, can be passed on via the website lobbyleaks.eu.
Lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory has launched the hotline in collaboration with LobbyControl and with the support of several cross-party MEPs.
In recent years, Big Tech companies have developed increasingly deceptive lobbying tactics; in October last year complaints were launched by MEPs against Google, Amazon and Meta who used front groups to opaquely press their interests.
LobbyLeaks will increase pressure on EU institutions to hold Big Tech’s shady lobbying campaigns to account. It permits the collection of more data which could pave the way for stricter rules and regulations within the EU.
Staff and members of the European Institutions will be able to flag any irregularities and CEO and LobbyControl will take them forward to investigate and seek for patterns. There is a guarantee of complete confidentiality for all tip-offs.
The information received from the hotline will feed into research, help expose new lobbying tactics and may be used as the basis for complaints to the EU Transparency Register secretariat.
Bram Vranken, Campaigner and Researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory, said:
“Big Tech’s business model is toxic. It is based on aggressive surveillance advertising and data extraction, deploying algorithmic content management systems that amplify disinformation and hateful content, and denies workers their rights.
“Lobbyleaks will help to expose this kind of deceptive and opaque influence that has become central to Big Tech’s lobbying tactics.”
Paul Tang, Member of the European Parliament for theS&D Group, said:
“As politicians, it is our duty to balance the interests of industry, civil society and society at large.
“Manipulation by shady lobbying is a threat not only to proper law making, but to our whole democracy.
“That’s why we have to turn the spotlight on all these wolves in sheep’s clothing and fight against unfaithful lobbying methods."
Notes to editors:
- The launch of Lobbyleaks was inspired by the complaints of MEPs on shady lobbying and follows last year’s re-launch of website Lobby Facts which allows users to search, filter and analyse data from the official EU Transparency Register.
- LobbyControl and CEO have previously documented Big Tech lobbying. More information can be found here: https://corporateeurope.org/en/2021/08/lobby-network-big-techs-web-influence-eu