For the past decade, Google has been quietly funding academic research papers that support its defense against regulatory oversight, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
Google has reportedly paid stipends ranging from $5,000 to $400,000 for papers on topics such as the legality of its user data collection, though its financial backing hasn't always been disclosed by researchers.
Why it matters: The program is yet another facet of the tech giant's efforts to influence Washington and its business interests. And as WSJ points out, Google is not the only tech company to do this — others like Microsoft and Qualcomm have also sought to gain influence by funding academic papers.
Update: Google has responded to the latest report by the Campaign for Accountability (in part funded by Oracle) in a blog post. The report was part of the WSJ's reporting.