Governor Rick Scott Approves Small Cell Infrastructure Deployment Act

[Thank you to STOP SMART METERS, FLORIDA (http://www.stopsmartmetersfl.org), for the following excerpt of a recent email.]

HB687 – Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act (small cells) was approved into law on Friday, June 23, by Gov. Scott, it is effective 7/1/17.

The bill can be found here at this link:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00687

Essentially it strips local control over the placement of small cell infrastructure in the rights of way on your property. Locals can not restrict structures up to 50 feet. Refrigerator size equipment cabinets can hang off of poles or sit on your lawn.

If your city/county/town has a telecommunications tower ordinance, they will be revising it to comply with this new law. So contact your locals and get involved. Some things we can ask for is advanced notification to property owners and possibly some say on where it goes on the property. Also remember the WSJ article regarding current cell towers exceeding FCC limits, see https://takebackyourpower.net/wall-street-journal-one-10-cell-towers-violate-rf-radiation-rules/ . Since the FCC does not adequately control this, how is the town/city/county going to ensure compliance? Maybe we can request annual testing, random inspections or penalties for non-compliance into the codes.

~ http://www.stopsmartmetersfl.org

END EXCERPT

For the record, the Florida “THEFT OF Public Rights-of-Way” bill was sponsored by four Republicans and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, a Republican.

Does their party affiliation even matter, in an era when the hazardous RF/microwave industry essentially owns both major parties? In this particular matter, regarding the Florida state legislature giving away what is essentially the entirety of our private property — as well as our “commons” — over to the special interests of the telecommunications and wireless industries, our focus now turns to California.

The Democrats run California, and now they are poised to pass into law what is basically the same industry-written text as was just approved by Republicans here in Florida.

For a compelling summary of the terrible and inherently harmful California legislation — very similar to that which was just signed into Florida law by Gov. Scott — we turn to Josh Hart, founder of the California-based StopSmartMeters.org:

Josh Hart of Stop Smartmeters Testifies Against California Senate Bill SB 649

For additional video testimony, please see:

“Microwave Radiation has been Shown to Cause Neurological Damage”– Physicians and Other SB 649 Opponents Address California Assembly June 28th
https://stopsmartmeters.org/2017/06/23/stop-smart-meters-letter-to-the-california-assembly-local-govt-committee/

NOTE: It’s still not too late to STOP the California legislation. If you have friends or family in California, please encourage them to get active immediately. More information at StopSmartMeters.org (California).

==============================

SUMMARY OF THE WIRELESS-INDUSTRY GIVEWAY RECENTLY SIGNED INTO FLORIDA LAW

CS/CS/HB 687: Utilities

GENERAL BILL by Commerce Committee ; Energy and Utilities Subcommittee ; La Rosa ; (CO-INTRODUCERS) Avila ; Drake ; Gruters

Utilities; Authorizes DOT & certain local governmental entities to prescribe & enforce rules re: placing & maintaining communications services lines/wireless facilities; prohibits authority regulation of facility collocation; authorizes authority to require registration process & permit fees; requires authority to process applications; prohibits authority from requiring approval/fees for maintenance/placement of facilities; provides requirements for collocation on authority utility poles; requires authority to waive certain application & placement requirements; prohibits authority from adopting/enforcing certain regulations & imposing certain fees; authorizes wireless infrastructure provider to apply to place utility poles; authorizes authority to enforce certain local codes/rules/regulations under certain circumstances.

Effective Date: 7/1/2017
Last Action: 6/26/2017 – Chapter No. 2017-136, companion bill(s) passed, see CS/CS/CS/HB 865 (Ch. 2017-42)
Bill Text: PDF
Posted in 5G, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Green Washing, hacking, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, Privacy, PSC Corruption, Smart Meter Refusal, Wireless health hazards | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opinion: Bill would Turn California Utility Poles into Cell Towers

[Comment: The telecom industry intends to deploy these hazardous so-called “small cell” cell towers EVERYWHERE, including in Florida. This needs to be stopped.]

Original here: https://stopsmartmeters.org/2017/06/12/opinion-bill-would-turn-california-utility-poles-into-cell-towers/

By Nina Beety, Guest Commentary

Most utility poles will become cell towers under (California) Senate Bill 649. The bill strips municipal governments of decision-making power.

Spaced approximately every 10-20 homes, cell antennas will hang in one or more clusters on utility or light poles. Equipment cabinets the size of refrigerators, with cooling fans and back-up generators, will sit on sidewalks. Towers will be located in the public right of way a few feet from bedroom windows, offices, schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

Called “small cells”, there is little difference in size for many of these antennas; the chief difference is the location on utility poles versus large towers. Measurements of these cell towers recently taken in Palo Alto found high levels of radiation on the sidewalk below them — levels higher than those associated in research with breaches in the blood-brain barrier, free radical formation, DNA damage, cancer and tumors, and heart rhythm disturbances.

What the levels are inside buildings a few feet away and in line with the antennas is anyone’s guess.

This 24/7 exposure of the most vulnerable, including children, is ignored by the California Legislature. This isn’t surprising since Capitol Weekly named AT&T lobbyist Bill Devine the 16th most powerful person in Sacramento last year. CTIA — the wireless industry — is the listed source of SB 649. And the telecom industry hosts the Pro Tem Cup in San Diego and Speakers Cup in Pebble Beach — lavish, hush-hush lobbying and fundraising events for the California Senate and Assembly members. How many members of the public can afford to buy a politician?

SB 649 is effectively eminent domain, taking the public’s right of way for another use. The public has not agreed to cell towers in their front yard, but the bill states this is not a municipal affair. Remember the Malibu fires, where officials evacuated the city? This was caused by utility poles overloaded with telecommunications equipment — AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and NextG. Look around you and see the leaning, bowing poles next to homes and buildings, hanging over streets and sidewalks. Malibu Mayor Andy Stern called these time bombs. Add more gear, multiply the number of poles impacted, and what will be the result?

The FCC’s website says there are no federal standards for microwave radiation exposure. FCC exposure guidelines were derived from industry, and there is no policing or compliance testing of cell towers. Many exceed federal limits according to two surveys. Once installed, you’re stuck, and due to federal laws, every company has to be allowed access to a location, even if that means the same pole and higher radiation levels.

Do you have a utility pole in your back yard or along your fence line? That utility easement on or through your property means they can put anything on that pole. Undergrounded utilities in your neighborhood? New poles will be erected, or antennas will be mounted on homes. AT&T’s new service agreement says you must agree to anything they want to install on or in your home (complain to the CPUC if you disagree).

Impacts to agriculture will be costly, with documented effects from microwave radiation to bees and other pollinators alarming international scientists. Industrial ag is already impacted by dying bees from other causes. Damage to trees and plants is also documented, but the Legislature ignores all of this and the costs to the public.

SB 649 is being rushed through the legislature before the public finds out. It has already passed the Senate. If you don’t want cell towers next to your home and office, take action before it’s too late.

Nina Beety is a writer and educator and runs the website smartmeterharm.org. She lives in Monterey. This opinion piece originally appeared in the East Bay Times.

 

Posted in 5G, autonomous vehicles, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Green Washing, hacking, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, Privacy, PSC Corruption, Smart Meter Refusal, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart Attack!

Published on May 15, 2017

* http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/ *

*WARNING – HEAVY IRONY AHEAD – USE CRITICAL THINKING*

Ever wondered why your energy supplier and governments are so keen to give you a smart meter?

We lay out some not-so-good reasons in this 4 minute animation. Your private data, lifestyle and behavioural choices can be amalgamated into a data-set that is monetised nd sold to 3rd party companies. Our usual satire of dark subjects aim to entertain and inform you.

 

Posted in 5G, Analog Meters, autonomous vehicles, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Green Washing, hacking, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, Privacy, PSC Corruption, Radio-frequency Radiation, Smart Meter Refusal, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Justice for Smart Meter Crimes Against Rebecca and her Heart

[Comment: This case is in California, but could set an important precedent for all of us, and therefore deserves our support.]

Original here: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2017/04/27/obtaining-justice-for-smart-meter-crimes-against-rebecca-and-her-heart/

Rebecca’s Justice, Rebecca’s Heart
A Smart Meter Medical-Legal Case for us all

Join Rebecca: Let’s get the California Supreme Court to legally protect our rights in court as we face continuous exposure to unwanted RF radiation. Rebecca was seriously injured and lost her health and home in 2010 after a bank of smart meters were installed on the wall of her condo in San Diego County.

She has been fighting for almost 7 years. Join her campaign.

We enhance our ability to protect ourselves from and be compensated for radiation injuries in court, by building on success. One case establishes precedent for all future cases. Legally, we stand on each other’s shoulders by creating case law as a foundation. Rebecca’s Justice is applicable not only in California, but many other states as well.

Please click here to go to Rebecca’s Justice gofundme page. Together let’s crowdfund and support Rebecca’s legal expenses, and allow her to prevail in court. For more information, please contact: rebeccasjustice@gmail.com.

Posted in 5G, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, PSC Corruption, smart meter lawsuit, Smart Meter Refusal, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure, World Health Organization | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Calls Needed – Florida SB 596 and HB 687 bills – “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Wireless Deployment Act”

[ALERT, transportation needed: Some of our citizen-advocates are looking for transportation to Tallahassee in order to OPPOSE this legislation. If you live in Central or SW Florida and wish to carpool  to Tallahassee, please contact us by sending an email to info@microwavechasm.org …

The following is an update from stopsmartmetersfl.org ]

These bills are now heading to the Florida Senate (SB 596) and House (HB 687) Floors for votes. Your calls to your representatives are needed by Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Find your Florida legislators contact numbers at these links: (Note: These bills do not concern your US reps (Rubio/Nelson) 

A Small Cell without screening or common sense design standards. Imagine one of these for each carrier in front of your home, blasting your family with radiation 24/7.

Florida Senate – https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find

Florida House – https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

Last month we wrote about some bills being filed to streamline the deployment of what the industry calls “small cells” infrastructure. They cleverly call them small cells, but applications filed have some at 120 feet tall and some come with refrigerator sized equipment boxes. These bills (Senate Bill 596 and House Bill 687) were written by the wireless industry in an attempt to have the Florida state legislators preempt local siting processes and provide cheap access to our public infrastructure and rights of way. This is an invasion on residential neighborhoods as public rights of way and infrastructure are impacted. Most people don’t realize it but the property in front of our homes as well as sometimes other parts (back and side yards) have public rights of way. Yes we mow all the lawn and pay the property taxes but certain portions of your property are not subject to your full control. These are usually areas where you find light posts, utility poles and street signs.

Anyway, although all the cities, counties and municipalities vehemently opposed this bill, Tallahassee basically told them “tough,” and the now former (forced to resign) Senator Artiles actually told them at the end of the first meeting to “go and negotiate your best deal.” There has been little debate nor mention or concern by all sides that this is OUR property.

Well, they have been negotiating and the bill has gone through many strike all changes. Our local governments basically accepted the local preemption, got a few protective clauses inserted, brought the height limitations they can set down to 50 feet from 60 feet and now are haggling over price (annual rent). The original rent was $15 and it now stands at $150 per pole.

Other changes, since man is not created equal – The Florida Dept of Transportation managed to get themselves exempted along with the municipal electric and cooperative electric companies. The Villages retirement community managed to get themselves exempted. Some barrier islands, less than 5 miles, 10K inhabitants who recently voted to underground (could that be Longboat Key?) got themselves exempted. And large developers managed to weigh in and properties subject to covenants, conditions and restrictions; articles of incorporation; or “bylaws” got some protections if the structures do not comply with the restrictions. So it’s been “Let’s make a deal” all month.

Although this bill is better from where it started, a bad bill is a bad bill and should be opposed. You can find the bill and its analysis and read it for yourselves at below links. Just click on the “Bill Text” or “Analysis” tabs and choose the document with the latest date. This bill changes frequently but both have cleared all their committees and are on the calendars for their respective floors to be voted on.

This year’s session ends in about 11 days, so this will move quickly and we expect it to pass unless there is a large public outcry.

Senate Bill 596 – http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00596

House Bill 687 – http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00687 

Some reasons to oppose:

1) Home Rule – This bill preempts local authority over their public rights of way and zoning authority

2) This bill is not necessary, locals are capable of negotiating directly with industry on what is needed for their communities

3) This bill picks winners and losers which is not the role of the state. Wireless facilities are placed today on both public and private property. By setting a low rate for public properties you skew the market. These light poles, etc. were paid for by the people and their local representatives should be allowed to negotiate the proper price. Testimony at one House committee meeting pegged market rate at $2200/yr and this bill only offers $150/year. Taxpayers should not subsidize private industry.

4) 50 foot mini cell towers and noisy associated equipment boxes should not be forced on residential areas.

5) This bill is discriminatory as it does not treat all public rights of way the same – namely the carve outs for the Florida Dept of Transportation, municipal electric utilities, The Villages, Barrier islands and certain PUD’s (planned unit developments)

6) The massive proliferation of small cell placements, especially in residential areas, where placement could be as close as 10 feet from a bedroom window, is a health hazard. This deployment should not be supported in light of the May 2016 release of the NTP rat/cell phone study until the FCC completes its work on Docket 16-421 regarding reassessment of the RF radiation emission guidelines.

7) A good write up, complete with pictures, was prepared by a former government local planner who is opposing a similar pending bill in California. It shows what happens when the placement and rules of wireless facilities are not well regulated and controlled. See https://medium.com/@omarmasry/sb-649-challenges-legislative-pitfalls-a61a4427651a

8) Ohio passed their bill in December and over 80 local communities are now suing the state. http://www.cleveland.com/brecksville/index.ssf/2017/04/brecksville_joins_cleveland_la.html

Please make some noise in opposition to this. Most times these senators and representatives go along with these crazy bills because they hear no complaints from the people. Tell them to Vote NO.

Thank you,

Stop Smart Meters, Florida

www.info@stopsmartmetersfl.org

Posted in 5G, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Health Effects, Interference, Internet of Things, Radio-frequency Radiation, SB 596, SB596, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“NO 5G” Rally in Washington DC April 20th

Original here: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2017/04/11/no-5g-rally-in-washington-dc-april-20th/

An Alert from Whatis5G.info:

PLEASE JOIN US FOR A RALLY OUTSIDE THE FCC ON THURSDAY, APRIL 20th

The rally will take place from 9:00 – 10:15 am (at 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC) after which people are encouraged to attend the 10:30 am FCC meeting which is open to the public. During this meeting, the Commission intends to address, “impediments to 5G infrastructure” – which presumably includes those who oppose the infrastructure in their neighborhoods.  Link to FB post.

We have 3 asks:
1.  We say NO to small cells beaming radiation into our homes 24/7
2.  NO to the wireless industry preempting local zoning rights
3.  And YES to ONE BIG DIG for Fiber Optics: All homes, businesses and farms should be connected via safe, reliable, secure, and healthy Fiber Optics.

WE NEED A LARGE TURNOUT.  We must let our government and the media know in no uncertain terms that we say NO to 5G small cells !!!

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND, please indicate so on the post on Facebook.  If you would rather communicate more privately, please notify us by sending an email to rethinking5g@whatis5g.info.

THANKS AND PLEASE SHARE WIDELY !!!

More details will be posted on the What is 5G and the Internet of Things Facebook Page and on the 5G website at this link: http://whatis5g.info/action/2017/04/event-outside-the-federal-communications-commission-fcc/

If you have any questions, please feel free to message us on the What is 5G FB page or through the website, at rethinking5g@whatis5g.info. Finally, if you need accommodations, we may be able to make arrangements for low EMF housing.

Posted in 5G, autonomous vehicles, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Green Washing, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, Media Censorship, Privacy, Smart Meter Refusal, surveillance, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charter wants to conduct 28 GHz 5G experiments in Florida

A recent (4/5/17) report from Fiercewireless.com represents bad news for all of us opposed to the needless proliferation  throughout our environment of man-made microwave radiation. They report:

Charter Communications appears to be as serious about 5G as anyone, with plans to test antennas at several locations in the Orlando, Florida, area, if the FCC approves its application.

Charter subsidiary CCO Fiberlink filed the paperwork, first spotted by consulting wireless engineer Steve Crowley, that seeks a two-year experimental license beginning June 1 to test and evaluate millimeter wave coverage and capacity performance. The application lists Ericsson as the equipment provider.

Charter intends to conduct fixed wireless experiments in the 28 GHz band—and it’s already coordinated the proposed testing with Straight Path Communications, which holds 28 GHz licenses in the Orlando area, according to the filing.

“The proposed operations will advance Charter’s understanding of 5G technology and network potential in the millimeter wave bands and will advance the deployment of 5G fixed and mobile services,” the company stated in the application.

Antennas will be mounted on a mobile trailer and van with hydraulic masts, which will be moved to each of the requested test locations. Besides Orlando, the application lists Kissimmee, Cape Canaveral, South Daytona and several other Florida markets as test locations. All the locations are owned by Charter and operated as hub sites, headends and offices. In most cases, the surrounding buildings and trees are taller than the masts, which will be raised only when tests are being conducted.

END EXCERPT

Remember, 5G is bad news for human health, our environment, and for the genuine “sustainability” of our culture.

As the wise folks at What is 5G” (http://whatis5g.info) write:

Every IoT “thing”, including AI and VR, will also irradiate our homes and communities 24/7 with hazardous frequencies of pulsed microwave radiation.

Some of the IoT products currently being manufactured include driverless cars, clothing, toasters, coffee makers, even diapers, and pacifiers for babies will be made “smart”. There will be “smart” mattresses, (with “infidelity detection systems”), “smart” toothbrushes to record and notify you how well you are brushing your teeth, WiFi connected pills to transmit data from inside your belly, and the IoT even “promises” sex-bots and bluetooth tampons.

Although government and industry promote the IoT as the panacea for all ills, the IoT itself, creates a plethora of problems. This website discusses eight ways that 5G and the IoT will cause serious harms to humans, wildlife, and our Earth. After exploring this website and further research, you may feel the hoped for benefits of the IoT do not outweigh the very serious harms –  and you may choose to not buy into the IoT, both figuratively and literally.

People need to organize, and urgently, to oppose this harmful technology.

Posted in 5G, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Green Washing, hacking, Health Effects, Higher Bills, Interference, Internet of Things, Media Censorship, PSC Corruption, surveillance, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Ethics and Principles

[Kudos to Stop Smart Meters.org for this important and thoughtful commentary. Original here: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2017/03/23/our-ethics-and-principles/ ]

With increasing awareness of wireless-related health problems, there are a flood of new entities promising solutions to the problem- a lot of them sincere and helpful.  However, you need to be aware of an increase in misleading, distracting information out there, and become savvy in recognizing it.

Anyone who says you can “make wireless safe” is not telling the truth and likely has something useless to sell you. There is no patch, pendant, plug-in device, amulet, ring, necklace, rock, “offset” or crystal that can reduce your exposure to wireless microwave radiation. The science does not support these imaginary fixes in any way, shape or form.

Even half-measures like using a cell phone with an air-tube device, or switching off the wi-fi router at night, may only reduce the risk of cancer and other deadly and debilitating diseases now linked with RF. This is not “safe” or “safer.”  This is (marginally) less dangerous. And there is a world of difference in how we perceive this danger- and respond.

Here are the principles that guide our every day work here at StopSmartMeters.org:

– Wireless technology can not be made “safe” no matter how it is used. Any indication to the contrary is simply false and serves the interests of industry. Any wireless device that is able to function, is also able to do you harm, strictly according to the science.

– Wired connectivity should be standard in all homes, schools and other buildings. Everyone has the right to be safe and free from unnecessary harm.

– We encourage politically and directly active community responses to involuntary exposure or limited options for wired connectivity. Every individual and every community has the capacity, voice, power, and right to effect change within their family, neighborhood and community.

– Individual solutions that only mitigate wireless harm to the user will never address the systemic nature of, toxic, carcinogenic wireless pollution in our environment, the worst being borne by low income, marginalized communities.

– Wireless technology (and the “wild west” nature with which it is being deployed) is a symptom of a deeper rot in our society, related to capitalism, greed, and corruption. We cannot address the wireless crisis without addressing its roots.

– A diversity of tactics is healthy and necessary in order to challenge wireless corporate hegemony, and create new social norms and policies that allow and encourage an overall healthier relationship with technology. Solidarity is key.

We should not be afraid of speaking the truth (as well as the implications of that truth) on this issue. After all, if those living in the U.S. in the 1860’s had been concerned with appearing too “extreme” or “radical” and instead pushed for better treatment of slavesrather than total abolition, slavery may still be with us today with all its horrors and human tragedies.

Be outspoken and get in the way- take responsibility for making your home and your community the way you want it to be. Be proud of the resistance movement against smart meters and the network we’ve created together.  -SSM!

Posted in 5G, Cellphone hazards, FCC Corruption, Fire Hazard, Green Washing, Health Effects, Internet of Things, PSC Corruption, surveillance, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update on Florida Senate Bill 596, “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act”

Thanks to stopsmartmetersfl.org for this update:

The Florida Senate Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities voted 7-1 to move SB 596 “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act” out of Committee. The bill now moves to the Commerce Committee to be reviewed and voted on. 

I watched the hearing today and it was quite sickening. The bill was introduced as “bringing 5G to the state of Florida” and would be 1) the building blocks of 5G, 2) help cities save energy, decrease traffic congestion, and lower fuel costs and 3) help first responders with public safety.

For the industry it will help streamline application and permitting process; fee structure caps and limit size and heights of small cells.

Many city managers and municipalities attended and they expressed support for the 5G roll-out but opposed the bill. They believed they could work out their own deals with the industry. Industry argued that negotiating 400 deals was too cumbersome and costly. The Chair seemed aggravated that so many signed up to speak and discouraged speakers – maybe he had a drink date. Anyway, after the vote he encouraged the cities to negotiate a deal with industry so they could get a suitable bill.

It was sad to watch. You can watch video at below link of the 3/7/17 mtg, SB 596 starts at about 29:20 mark.

http://www.flsenate.gov/media/videoplayer?EventID=2443575804_2017031071

The House bill HB687 was introduced today. Please work your representatives to try and stop this bill.

Posted in 5G, Green Washing, hacking, Higher Bills, Internet of Things, Privacy, PSC Corruption, SB 596, Wireless health hazards, wireless infrastructure | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advocacy Groups Raise Concerns about Privacy Implications of Smart Meter Data in Newly Filed Brief

Original here: https://medium.com/privacy-international/press-release-privacy-international-the-electronic-frontier-foundation-raise-concerns-about-9348387eac44#.87rpj8lh0

PRESS RELEASE (February 28, 2017):  Privacy International & the Electronic Frontier Foundation Raise Concerns about Privacy Implications of Smart Meter Data In Newly Filed Brief

  • Today, Privacy International (“PI”) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) are planning to file an amicus brief in the case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
  • PI and EFF argue that usage data from smart electricity meters differs quantitatively and qualitatively from analog electricity meters, revealing intimate details regarding a person’s private in-home activities.
  • PI and EFF argue that an Illinois District Court’s decision that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in aggregate electrical usage data, regardless of whether the data is collected by a smart meter or analog meter, is flawed and that the Court’s decision should be reversed.
  • The European Union aims to deploy smart meters in 80% of households by 2020, raising many of the same privacy concerns implicated in this case.

Overview

Today, Privacy International, alongside the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is planning to file an amicus brief in the case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.  The brief argues that usage data from smart electricity meters differs quantitatively and qualitatively from analog electricity meters.  While analog meters provide a single monthly read of cumulative household energy use (a single data point), smart meters typically collect data in 5, 15, 30 or 60-minute intervals.  This level of granularity provides detailed information regarding how much energy is actually being used within a house at any given time.  Thus, even in aggregate, raw form, smart meter data reveals intimate information regarding a person or family’s in-home activities.

Patterns generated by smart meter data can be used to infer how many individuals reside in a home as well as their activities, habits, and rhythms of movement, including when they leave their home and when they go to sleep.  Smart meter data can even reveal which appliances are functioning at a given time, allowing one to infer, for example, when residents consume meals, take showers, watch TV, and use exercise equipment.

PI and EFF argue that an Illinois District Court’s decision, which held there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in aggregate electrical usage data, regardless of whether the data is collected from a smart meter or analog meter, is flawed and should be reversed.

Smart meters in USA

In 2015, roughly 65 million smart meters were installed across the United States, with 88% of them, over 57 million, in homes of American consumers.  More than 40 percent of American households currently have a smart meter, and experts predict that number will reach 80% by 2020.  Recent studies show that Americans are particularly sensitive about data tied to their homes and expect privacy in the details of their day-to-day activities.

Smart meters in Europe

In the EU, a Directive mandates that 80% of household shall have smart meters by 2020. It is estimated that a total of 200 million smart electricity meters will be deployed by 2020, bringing the EU’s smart meter population to approximately 240 million.  The European Data Protection Supervisor has warned that smart meters may “enable massive collection of personal data” and recommends that Member States provide adequate safeguards.

Privacy International Legal Officer Scarlet Kim said:

“The transition from analog meters to smart meters — from a single monthly reading of energy usage to thousands of data points per month — transforms a blunt record of kilowatts consumed into a deeply personal snapshot of a person’s life.  The data protection and privacy implications of collecting this data are not confined to Illinois but resonate around the world.  Smart meter deployments are shifting from North America to Europe with Asia and Latin America not far behind.  The legal regimes in each country may be different, but as with the rapid adoption of most technology, existing safeguards may be inadequate to protect against these new intrusions into our private lives.  Governments seeking to roll out smart meters must therefore ensure that the privacy of energy consumers is correspondingly protected.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Jamie Williams said:

“Smart meter data reveals intimate details about what is going on inside the home.  The lower court made false assumptions about how smart meter technology works, and its decision is a threat to the privacy of the 57 million and counting American homes with this new technology.”

Source:  Press Release:  Privacy International at: https://medium.com/privacy-international/press-release-privacy-international-the-electronic-frontier-foundation-raise-concerns-about-9348387eac44#.87rpj8lh0

Posted in FCC Corruption, hacking, Internet of Things, Privacy, Smart Meter Refusal, surveillance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment