EBay spends $2M lobbying gov agencies including CIA

CBS News

Online auctioneer eBay Inc. spent almost US$2-million lobbying various departments of the federal government in the past year, including an entity rarely named on federal disclosure forms: the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to a database maintained by the Senate’s public records office, eBay is one of eight groups and companies to lobby the spy agency. The company listed the CIA on a form covering its lobbying activities for the first six months of 2007. Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman, said that listing was an error.

But he said the company did meet with CIA officials in the second half of 2006 to discuss amendments to a 1994 law — the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act — that required Internet phone companies to ensure their equipment can accommodate wiretaps. EBay owns the Internet phone company Skype.