Let us, all, heed the words of Representative Lewis……

Let us, all, heed the words of Representative Lewis.  When we hear something or see something that is not right, we all have a moral obligation to speak out, as well as do something about it.  We are living in a shit storm of issues coming at us.  Issues that are life changing as well as life threatening.  Threatening to our civil rights, health, future of our planet and the future of our children.

I have written in the past that the culture of thinking in our government leadership must change at it core, where decision making is based on the well-being of humans instead of the pocket books of the 1%.  Maybe Donald Trump is analogous to one big enema of the United States of America.  This is the purge we need.  So Donald, as I hold my nose and keep a bucket next to my chair and watch the inauguration of the most repulsive person to hold the highest office in our land; maybe I will be thanking you for really making America great again, simply by continuing what you do so well, by angering the majority of majority of the population…..Sandaura

TECHNOLOGY

Smart electricity meters can be dangerously insecure

Hackers can cause fraud, explosions and house fires, and utility companies should do more to protect consumers, conference told

Smart electricity meters, of which there are more than 100 million installed around the world, are frequently “dangerously insecure,” a security expert has said.

The lack of security in the smart utilities raises the prospect of a single line of malicious code cutting power to a home or even causing a catastrophic overload leading to exploding meters or house fires, according to Netanel Rubin, co-founder of the security firm Vaultra.

“Reclaim your home,” Mr. Rubin told hackers and security experts, “or someone else will.” If a hacker took control of a smart meter, they would be able to know “exactly when and how much electricity you’re using,” Mr. Rubin told the 33rd Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg. An attacker could also see if a home had any expensive electronics.

“He can do billing fraud, setting your bill to whatever he likes … The scary thing is if you think about the power they have over your electricity. He will have power over all of your smart devices connected to the electricity. This will have more severe consequences: imagine you woke up to find you’d been robbed by a burglar who didn’t have to break in.

“But even if you don’t have smart devices, you are still at risk. An attacker who controls the meter also controls the meter’s software, allowing him to cause it to literally explode.” Mr. Rubin said many of the warnings were not hypothetical.

In 2009 Puerto Rican smart meters were hacked en masse, leading to widespread billing fraud, and in 2015 a house fire in Ontario was traced back to a faulty smart meter, although hacking was not implicated in that.

Outdated protocols

The problems at the heart of the insecurity stem from outdated protocols, half-hearted implementations and weak design principles.

While the physical security of smart meters is strong — “trust me, I tried” to hack in that way, Mr. Rubin said — the wireless protocols many of them use are problematic.

To communicate with the utility company, most smart meters use GSM, the 2G mobile standard. That has a fairly well-known weakness whereby an attacker with a fake mobile tower can cause devices to “hand over” to the fake version from the real tower, simply by providing a strong signal. In GSM, devices have to authenticate with towers, but not the other way round, allowing the fake mast to send its own commands to the meter.

Worse still, said Mr. Rubin, all the meters from one utility used the same hard-coded credentials. “If an attacker gains access to one meter, it gains access to them all. It is the one key to rule them all.” Inside the home, too, the communications are rendered insecure by outdated standards and bad implementation.

Almost all smart meters use the Zigbee standard to speak to other smart devices in the home. Zigbee, which dates from 2003, is a home automation standard, used for controlling everything from lightbulbs to air conditioners. But it is so convoluted, due to the vast array of devices supported, that it is almost better to think of it as 15 different standards, each of which vendors can choose to implement as they see fit.

“This unique situation is so difficult to implement, vendors actually choose what they want to implement. And when they choose what to support, they more often than not skip security,” Mr. Rubin said. — The Guardian

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/Smart-electricity-meters-can-be-dangerously-insecure/article16974371.ece

Conflict of Interest in the Berkeley’s “right to know”

BREAKING NEWS by Susan Foster on Conflict of Interest in the Berkeley’s “right to know”

susan-fosterThis is the next in a series of the Guest Blogs on BRHP. The opinions expressed in it are of Susan Foster herself (photo). Publication of these opinions in BRHP does not imply that BRHP automatically agrees with or endorses these opinions. Publication of this, and other Guest Blogs, is an attempt to start an open debate and free exchange of opinions on RF and health.

******************

WILL A JUDGE’S FAILURE TO RECUSE

SILENCE BERKELEY’S “RIGHT TO KNOW”?

The long battle over cell phone consumer labels, with a hidden twist of legal super heroes and questions about a Ninth Circuit Court judge’s failure to recuse herself.

A battle over free speech in Berkeley, California has pitted the city of Berkeley against the mighty telecommunications trade group, CTIA – The Wireless Association. Berkeley stands on the First Amendment argument they have a right to inform consumers of certain precautions the FCC already requires in the back of cell phone user’s manuals.

A verdict is expected shortly from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and proponents of Berkeley’s Right to Know consumer notices are growing increasingly concerned about Judge Michelle T. Friedland’s circuitous connection to the CTIA. Supporters of the Right to Know ordinance worry the judge’s husband, Dan Kelly, has links to four members of the CTIA that could jeopardize Berkeley’s fight for the right to speak freely.

Berkeley’s City Council has fought for six years for the right to inform consumers in Berkeley about cell phone usage safety information. Until Berkeley’s unanimous passage of the Right to Know ordinance on May 12, 2015, this information about keeping distance between the cell phone and the body had been hidden in small print in owner’s manuals, or deep within the phone.

The passage of this consumer notice in easy to understand language triggered a forceful response from the CTIA which has threatened legal action against every city and state over the past seven years that has attempted to pass similar right to know legislation.

In the CTIA’s corner is former solicitor general Theodore Olson, the man widely credited with helping George W. Bush win the White House.

Berkeley’s efforts to proceed with passage of the ordinance were stalled until 2014 when Harvard Law professor and constitutional scholar Lawrence Lessig agreed to help the city fight for its First Amendment rights, vowing to take Berkeley’s case, pro bono, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Initially the CTIA sought an injunction in district court to prevent the Cell Phone Right to Know notices from being displayed. That injunction was denied on January 27, 2016 by Judge Edward Chen, allowing the law to be implemented.

The CTIA then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court. During the September 13, 2016 hearing before the three-judge panel, Berkeley supporters felt Judge Michelle Friedland displayed a bias toward the CTIA that was, at best, thinly disguised.

It was discovered that Judge Friedland’s husband, Daniel Kelly, is a senior software engineer with Tarana Wireless, Inc., having been with the Silicon Valley startup from its inception in 2011. Tarana Wireless specializes in a critical part of the infrastructure that allows 5G RF radiation to travel the last mile of a massive infrastructure network. On June 20, 2016 outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced at the Washington Press Club in Washington, D.C. that 5G “redefines network connectivity for years to come,” and will “generate tens of billions of dollars in economic activity.” In short, 5G is a moneymaker.

Financial disclosure documents filed by Judge Friedland in 2014 and 2015 were recently obtained by this reporter from the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C. These documents confirmed the judge’s husband, Daniel Kelly, receives a salary from Tarana Wireless, Inc.

Further investigation has revealed AT&T as one of Tarana Wireless, Inc.’s three major funders. AT&T is a member of the CTIA. Since Dan Kelly’s salary is paid for by Tarana, and because AT&T is one of the top three financiers of Tarana Wireless, it is more than theoretical to presume AT&T is paying for at least a portion of Dan Kelly’s salary.

Another member of the CTIA, Nokia, is named by Tarana Wireless as a global partner.

Two other members of the CTIA, Ericsson and Sony Mobile, are linked to Tarana Wireless through a senior advisor, Dr. Jan Uddenfeldt, who also sits on Tarana Wireless’s Board of Directors.

According to federal law and the Code of Conduct for federal judges, a financial interest by the judge or his or her spouse to a litigant is grounds for recusal.

Title 28 U.S. Code § 455 defines “financial interest” as “ownership of a legal or equitable interest, however small, or a relationship as director, adviser, or other active participant in the affairs of a party.”

Judge Friedland’s husband, Daniel Kelly, has an active role as a software designer of Tarana Wireless’s products. He is directly involved in products that will make money for two key CTIA members: AT&T and Nokia. Neither of those companies stood before Judge Friedland on September 13, 2016 in the case of CTIA v. City of Berkley. Yet the trade association that represents AT&T and Nokia did, and therein lies the potential conflict for Judge Michelle T. Friedland.

https://betweenrockandhardplace.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/breaking-news-by-susan-foster-on-conflict-of-interest-in-the-berkeleys-right-to-know/