Facebook spent $230,000 lobbying the federal government in the first quarter on issues such as online privacy, rules that aim for equitable Internet access and other issues, according to a disclosure report.
That's up from $130,000 Facebook spent in the fourth quarter and nearly six times the $41,390 that it spent in the first quarter of last year.
Privately held Facebook Inc. has been boosting its Washington presence as it grows and continues to face government scrutiny over how it handles its users' personal information. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company hired two aides of former President George W. Bush as lobbyists last month. It now has four registered lobbyists, two Democrats and two Republicans.
In the first three months of the year, the company lobbied on the international regulation of software companies, the restriction of Internet access by foreign governments, federal privacy legislation and patent reform, and it lobbied for rules to allow more congressional and other government offices to access social media to interact with their constituents.
Facebook lobbied Congress, the White House, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies, according to the disclosure report filed April 20 with the House clerk's office.
Catherine Martin, who had served as deputy assistant and deputy communications director to Bush, was one of Facebook's lobbyists in the first quarter. She is currently on a leave of absence for personal reasons.
In May, Facebook hired Joel Kaplan, deputy chief of staff in the Bush White House, as vice president of U.S. public policy in a new post.