NSA-Spygate Tech Firms' Staff, PACs Gave Six Times More to Obama than Romney

June 14, 2013 - 9:35 AM

The PACs and employees of nine tech companies involved in the National Security Agency (NSA)'s PRISM surveillance program, combined, donated more than six times more to President Obama's 2012 campaign than they did to Mitt Romney's.

The employee/PAC totals for eight of the companies heavily favored Obama, while the remaining company, Paltalk, donated equal amounts to both Obama and Romney. AOL, Apple and Paltalk don't have listed PACs, so all donations from those three companies came from individuals.

For seven of these eight companies, the amount of overall donations to Obama is between three and 20 times greater than those to Romney.

For all nine combined, the PACs and employees of these companies donated $2,109,253 to the Obama campaign, which is six-and-a-half times the $320,544 they gave to Romney. These numbers come from OpenSecrets.org, which tracks campaign finance.

The NSA and the Obama administration recently came under fire over claims the organization monitored the personal emails and webs searches of U.S. citizens. A government contractor working for the NSA, Edward Snowden, claimed that the NSA was monitoring the communications of American citizens without warrants. The nine tech companies named in the allegations are: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Paltalk, AOL, Apple, Skype and YouTube. All nine deny allowing the government to access this data, according to ABC News.

The director of the NSA defended the program, telling Congress on June 12 that the information gathered through PRISM helped to thwart "dozens" of terrorist attacks. However, he failed to give any details to back up that claim.

All nine of the tech companies, along with President Obama, will be targeted in a class action lawsuit filed by Larry Klayman, a former Justice Department prosecutor and the founder of Freedom Watch, according to U.S. News.

This wasn't the only recent NSA scandal to involve a major tech company. Employees and the PAC of another firm linked to a separate NSA spying scandal also backed Obama in 2012. Verizon's PAC and employees donated far more to Obama during the last election cycle than it did to Romney ($229,253 vs. $144,800). The telecommunications giant was recently in the news when it was discovered that the NSA was monitoring the communications of millions of Verizon customers in the United States.

Here are the exact amounts given to presidential campaigns in 2012 by PACS and employees of the seven tech companies and Verizon. Skype is owned by Microsoft and YouTube is owned by Google, so they are not listed individually. Although AOL's employee/PAC total for Obama is less than twice Romney's total, AOL also owns the decidedly liberal Huffington Post.

Microsoft

Obama: $814,645

Romney: $213,438

 

Google

Obama: $801,770

Romney: $39,539

 

Facebook

Obama: $95,539

Romney: $20,000

 

Yahoo

Obama: $75,968

Romney: $8,750

 

Paltalk (owned by AVM Software)

Obama: $5,000

Romney: $5,000

 

AOL

Obama: $8,250

Romney: $4,907

 

Apple

Obama: $308,081

Romney: $28,910

Total: $2.1

Obama Total: $2,109,253

Romney Total: $320,544

 

Verizon

Obama: $229,253

Romney: $144,800

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