From the nice article in today’s WaPo: “Google is working to preserve its rights to collect consumer data — and shield it from the government — amid a backlash over revelations that the National Security Agency tapped Internet companies as part of its surveillance programs. And it markets cloud storage and other services to federal departments, including intelligence agencies and the Pentagon.” The article illustrates just the surface of all the sorts of things which go into an effective lobbying effort. Be sure to take note of the public information act request which was needed to get documentation (through government offices) which Goggle declined to provide (being immune to FOIA as a corporation.) Also note the care with which Google’s spokesman parses words: “We will not collaborate with the NSA.” Each may have its own employees embedded at the other site, but hey, that is just where they work, they’re not “collaborating.”
In perspective, none of that lobbying effort is cheap, and nobody would be fighting so hard in Washington if the information you give Google for free was not worth a lot to them, and to government.