When big companies and government agencies have "secret meetings," their spokespeople always say the interests of the consumer is at heart. But consumer advocate groups rightfully point out that such closed-door decision-making leaves too many stakeholders—like you and me—out of the discussions. That's what's been happening between Google and Verizon for 10 months, as they near a deal that could spell disaster for net neutrality, the sacred Internet tenet that demands all content on the network be delivered to the end-user with equal reliability. In other words: no favoritism, no censorship.
"The fate of the Internet is too large a matter to be decided by negotiations involving two companies," Gigi B. Sohn, founder of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said. While business analysts say the deal "could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users," Edward Wyatt reports, I'm far more concerned about the foothold such policies give to legislating sexual content—like us.