Sacramento, Calif., Rethinks Some of Its Smart Meters

Sacramento, Calif., Rethinks Some of Its Smart Meters

A new protected bike lane project is going to put vehicles farther away from sensor-enabled parking meters, meaning they won’t be able to detect parked cars.

BY TONY BIZJAK, THE SACRAMENTO BEE MARCH 27, 2018

(TNS) — Three years after installing millions of dollars worth of “smart” parking meters, the city is about to remove 175 of them on four streets, including one entire side of J Street in midtown.

The reason: The meter sensors cannot handle a new task being asked of them.

The meters to be removed sit on sections of J, P, Q and 10th streets where the city intends to install a series of new-style bike lanes called “parking protected” lanes.

To create the lanes, he city will move the car parking area out further into the street, away from the sidewalk, and put a bike path in the curb area between the parked cars and the sidewalk.

That essentially turns the parked cars into a protective barrier for cyclists, keeping them away from moving vehicles in the street.

City officials want to try the new style in hopes that it will prompt more people to feel comfortable biking to work downtown, and will encourage more of them to ride in the street instead of on the sidewalk.

But it means the parked cars now will be about 8 feet away from the meters, far enough away so that the meters’ sensors can no longer detect whether or not a car is pulling out of the corresponding parking spot.

That creates a problem for the city because the meters are programmed to “zero out” when each parked car leaves the spot, erasing any of the unused time the car driver had paid for. (Previously, when the city had old-style, non-electronic meters, the next driver pulling into the spot often could take advantage of any leftover time on the meter.)

City officials will replace the meters with one or two parking payment machines per block – the same green pay stations the city used to use, but removed when smart meters arrived.

The estimated installation cost is $90,000 for about 30 blocks at $3,000 per block.

The pay stations will be slightly more convenient this time around than when last in use. Parkers must get out of their car, walk to the machine and pay, but they no longer have to get a receipt sticker and put it on the inside of their windshield.

Instead, they must punch their license plate number into the machines. That way, city parking enforcement officers patrolling streets can tell, via electronic messaging, whether the car parked in a given spot is the one whose driver fed the pay kiosk.

City parking officials indicated in an email that the changes are part of an expected evolution of their street parking program over time.

“Fortunately, due to the technologies we have available, we are able to be flexible and adapt to our constantly changing environment,” said an email from spokeswoman Marycon Young.

Parkers can use the Parkmobile app on their smartphones for the new stations.

The city ran into trouble last year with its smart meters and Parkmobile app, giving out an estimated 3,900 improper parking tickets and prompting an ongoing audit of the parking division operations.

City auditor Jorge Oseguera said last week he plans to issue his preliminary analysis next month of what went wrong, then continue with a more extensive analysis of the city’s parking operations through much of the year.

City officials say they plan to add the new bike lanes to P, Q and 10th streets next month, and on J Street in July.

The J Street changes should be particularly notable for drivers and pedestrians, as well as cyclists.

In an effort to slow cars and make the corridor safer, the city will eliminate one of the street’s three lanes, taking it down to a two-lane road, both lanes heading east.

©2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

http://www.govtech.com/fs/infrastructure/Sacramento-Calif-Rethinks-Some-of-Its-Smart-Meters.html

How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation

How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation

The disinformation campaign—and massive radiation increase—behind the 5G rollout.

YESTERDAY 6:00 AM

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Illustration by Don Carroll.

Things didn’t end well between George Carlo and Tom Wheeler; the last time the two met face-to-face, Wheeler had security guards escort Carlo off the premises. As president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Wheeler was the wireless industry’s point man in Washington. Carlo was the scientist handpicked by Wheeler to defuse a public-relations crisis that threatened to strangle his infant industry in its crib. This was back in 1993, when there were only six cell-phone subscriptions for every 100 adults in the United States. But industry executives were looking forward to a booming future.

Remarkably, cell phones had been allowed onto the US consumer market a decade earlier without any government safety testing. Now, some customers and industry workers were being diagnosed with cancer. In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A congressional subcommittee announced an investigation; investors began dumping their cell-phone stocks; and Wheeler and the CTIA swung into action.

A week later, Wheeler announced that his industry would pay for a comprehensive research program. Cell phones were already safe, Wheeler told reporters; the new research would simply “re-validate the findings of the existing studies.”

George Carlo seemed like a good bet to fulfill Wheeler’s mission. He was an epidemiologist who also had a law degree, and he’d conducted studies for other controversial industries. After a study funded by Dow Corning, Carlo had declared that breast implants posed only minimal health risks. With chemical-industry funding, he had concluded that low levels of dioxin, the chemical behind the Agent Orange scandal, were not dangerous. In 1995, Carlo began directing the industry-financed Wireless Technology Research project (WTR), whose eventual budget of $28.5 million made it the best-funded investigation of cell-phone safety to date.

Outside critics soon came to suspect that Carlo would be the front man for an industry whitewash. They cited his dispute with Henry Lai, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, over a study that Lai had conducted examining whether cell-phone radiation could damage DNA. In 1999, Carlo and the WTR’s general counsel sent a letter to the university’s president urging that Lai be fired for his alleged violation of research protocols. Lai accused the WTR of tampering with his experiment’s results. Both Carlo and Lai deny the other’s accusations.

Critics also attacked what they regarded as the slow pace of WTR research. The WTR was merely “a confidence game” designed to placate the public but stall real research, according to Louis Slesin, editor of the trade publication Microwave News. “By dangling a huge amount of money in front of the cash-starved [scientific] community,” Slesin argued, “Carlo guaranteed silent obedience. Anyone who dared complain risked being cut off from his millions.” Carlo denies the allegation.

Whatever Carlo’s motives might have been, the documented fact is that he and Wheeler would eventually clash bitterly over the WTR’s findings, which Carlo presented to wireless-industry leaders on February 9, 1999. By that date, the WTR had commissioned more than 50 original studies and reviewed many more. Those studies raised “serious questions” about cell-phone safety, Carlo told a closed-door meeting of the CTIA’s board of directors, whose members included the CEOs or top officials of the industry’s 32 leading companies, including Apple, AT&T, and Motorola.

Carlo sent letters to each of the industry’s chieftains on October 7, 1999, reiterating that the WTR’s research had found the following: “The risk of rare neuro-epithelial tumors on the outside of the brain was more than doubled…in cell phone users”; there was an apparent “correlation between brain tumors occurring on the right side of the head and the use of the phone on the right side of the head”; and “the ability of radiation from a phone’s antenna to cause functional genetic damage [was] definitely positive….”

Carlo urged the CEOs to do the right thing: give consumers “the information they need to make an informed judgment about how much of this unknown risk they wish to assume,” especially since some in the industry had “repeatedly and falsely claimed that wireless phones are safe for all consumers including children.”

The very next day, a livid Tom Wheeler began publicly trashing Carlo to the media. In a letter he shared with the CEOs, Wheeler told Carlo that the CTIA was “certain that you have never provided CTIA with the studies you mention”—an apparent effort to shield the industry from liability in the lawsuits that had led to Carlo’s hiring in the first place. Wheeler charged further that the studies had not been published in peer-reviewed journals, casting doubt on their validity.

Wheeler’s tactics succeeded in dousing the controversy. Although Carlo had in fact repeatedly briefed Wheeler and other senior industry officials on the studies, which had indeed undergone peer review and would soon be published, reporters on the technology beat accepted Wheeler’s discrediting of Carlo and the WTR’s findings. (Wheeler would go on to chair the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the wireless industry. He agreed to an interview for this article but then put all of his remarks off the record, with one exception: his statement that he has always taken scientific guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration, which, he said, “has concluded, ‘the weight of scientific evidence had not linked cell phones with any health problems.’”)

Why, after such acrimony, Carlo was allowed to make one last appearance before the CTIA board is a mystery. Whatever the reason, Carlo flew to New Orleans in February 2000 for the wireless industry’s annual conference, where he submitted the WTR’s final report to the CTIA board. According to Carlo, Wheeler made sure that none of the hundreds of journalists covering the event could get anywhere near him.

When Carlo arrived, he was met by two seriously muscled men in plain clothes; the larger of the two let drop that he had recently left the Secret Service. The security men steered Carlo into a holding room, where they insisted he remain until his presentation. When summoned, Carlo found roughly 70 of the industry’s top executives waiting for him in silence. Carlo had spoken a mere 10 minutes when Wheeler abruptly stood, extended a hand, and said, “Thank you, George.” The two muscle men then ushered the scientist to a curbside taxi and waited until it pulled away.

In the years to come, the WTR’s cautionary findings would be replicated by numerous other scientists in the United States and around the world, leading the World Health Organization in 2011 to classify cell-phone radiation as a “possible” human carcinogen and the governments of Great Britain, France, and Israel to issue strong warnings on cell-phone use by children. But as the taxi carried Carlo to Louis Armstrong International Airport, the scientist wondered whether his relationship with the industry might have turned out differently if cell phones had been safety-tested before being allowed onto the consumer market, before profit took precedence over science. But it was too late: Wheeler and his fellow executives had made it clear, Carlo told The Nation, that “they would do what they had to do to protect their industry, but they were not of a mind to protect consumers or public health.”

This article does not argue that cell phones and other wireless technologies are necessarily dangerous; that is a matter for scientists to decide. Rather, the focus here is on the global industry behind cell phones—and the industry’s long campaign to make people believe that cell phones are safe.

That campaign has plainly been a success: 95 out of every 100 adult Americans now own a cell phone; globally, three out of four adults have cell-phone access, with sales increasing every year. The wireless industry is now one of the fastest-growing on Earth and one of the biggest, boasting annual sales of $440 billion in 2016.

Carlo’s story underscores the need for caution, however, particularly since it evokes eerie parallels with two of the most notorious cases of corporate deception on record: the campaigns by the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries to obscure the dangers of smoking and climate change, respectively. Just as tobacco executives were privately told by their own scientists (in the 1960s) that smoking was deadly, and fossil-fuel executives were privately told by their own scientists (in the 1980s) that burning oil, gas, and coal would cause a “catastrophic” temperature rise, so Carlo’s testimony reveals that wireless executives were privately told by their own scientists (in the 1990s) that cell phones could cause cancer and genetic damage.

Carlo’s October 7, 1999, letters to wireless-industry CEOs are the smoking-gun equivalent of the November 12, 1982, memo that M.B. Glaser, Exxon’s manager of environmental-affairs programs, sent to company executives explaining that burning oil, gas, and coal could raise global temperatures by a destabilizing 3 degrees Celsius by 2100. For the tobacco industry, Carlo’s letters are akin to the 1969 proposal that a Brown & Williamson executive wrote for countering anti-tobacco advocates. “Doubt is our product,” the memo declared. “It is also the means of establishing a controversy…at the public level.”

Like their tobacco and fossil-fuel brethren, wireless executives have chosen not to publicize what their own scientists have said about the risks of their products. On the contrary, the industry—in America, Europe, and Asia—has spent untold millions of dollars in the past 25 years proclaiming that science is on its side, that the critics are quacks, and that consumers have nothing to fear. This, even as the industry has worked behind the scenes—again like its Big Tobacco counterpart—to deliberately addict its customers. Just as cigarette companies added nicotine to hook smokers, so have wireless companies designed cell phones to deliver a jolt of dopamine with each swipe of the screen.

This Nation investigation reveals that the wireless industry not only made the same moral choices that the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries did; it also borrowed from the same public-relations playbook those industries pioneered. The playbook’s key insight is that an industry doesn’t have to win the scientific argument about safety; it only has to keep the argument going. That amounts to a win for the industry, because the apparent lack of certainty helps to reassure customers, even as it fends off government regulations and lawsuits that might pinch profits.

Central to keeping the scientific argument going is making it appear that not all scientists agree. Again like the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries, the wireless industry has “war gamed” science, as a Motorola internal memo in 1994 phrased it. War-gaming science involves playing offense as well as defense: funding studies friendly to the industry while attacking studies that raise questions; placing industry-friendly experts on advisory bodies like the World Health Organization; and seeking to discredit scientists whose views depart from the industry’s.

Funding friendly research has perhaps been the most important component of this strategy, because it conveys the impression that the scientific community truly is divided. Thus, when studies have linked wireless radiation to cancer or genetic damage—as Carlo’s WTR did in 1999; as the WHO’s Interphone study did in 2010; and as the US National Toxicology Program did in 2016—industry spokespeople can point out, accurately, that other studies disagree. “[T]he overall balance of the evidence” gives no cause for alarm, asserted Jack Rowley, research and sustainability director for the Groupe Special Mobile Association (GSMA), Europe’s wireless trade association, speaking to reporters about the WHO’s findings.

A closer look reveals the industry’s sleight of hand. When Henry Lai, the professor whom Carlo tried to get fired, analyzed 326 safety-related studies completed between 1990 and 2005, he learned that 56 percent found a biological effect from cell-phone radiation and 44 percent did not; the scientific community apparently was split. But when Lai recategorized the studies according to their funding sources, a different picture emerged: 67 percent of the independently funded studies found a biological effect, while a mere 28 percent of the industry-funded studies did. Lai’s findings were replicated by a 2007 analysis in Environmental Health Perspectives that concluded industry-funded studies were two and a half times less likely than independent studies to find a health effect.

One key player has not been swayed by all this wireless-friendly research: the insurance industry. The Nation has not been able to find a single insurance company willing to sell a product-liability policy that covered cell-phone radiation. “Why would we want to do that?” one executive chuckled before pointing to more than two dozen lawsuits outstanding against wireless companies, demanding a total of $1.9 billion in damages. Some judges have affirmed such lawsuits, including a judge in Italy who refused to allow industry-funded research as evidence.

Even so, the industry’s neutralizing of the safety issue has opened the door to the biggest, most hazardous prize of all: the proposed revolutionary transformation of society dubbed the “Internet of Things.” Lauded as a gigantic engine of economic growth, the Internet of Things will not only connect people through their smartphones and computers but will connect those devices to a customer’s vehicles and home appliances, even their baby’s diapers—all at speeds faster than can currently be achieved.

There is a catch, though: The Internet of Things will require augmenting today’s 4G technology with 5G, thus “massively increasing” the general population’s exposure to radiation, according to a petition signed by 236 scientists worldwide who have published more than 2,000 peer-reviewed studies and represent “a significant portion of the credentialed scientists in the radiation research field,” according to Joel Moskowitz, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped circulate the petition. Nevertheless, like cell phones, 5G technology is on the verge of being introduced without pre-market safety testing.

Lack of definitive proof that a technology is harmful does not mean the technology is safe, yet the wireless industry has succeeded in selling this logical fallacy to the world. In truth, the safety of wireless technology has been an unsettled question since the industry’s earliest days. The upshot is that, over the past 30 years, billions of people around the world have been subjected to a massive public-health experiment: Use a cell phone today, find out later if it causes cancer or genetic damage. Meanwhile, the wireless industry has obstructed a full and fair understanding of the current science, aided by government agencies that have prioritized commercial interests over human health and news organizations that have failed to inform the public about what the scientific community really thinks. In other words, this public-health experiment has been conducted without the informed consent of its subjects, even as the industry keeps its thumb on the scale.

The absence of absolute proof does not mean the absence of risk,” Annie Sasco, the former director of epidemiology for cancer prevention at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told the attendees of the 2012 Childhood Cancer conference. “The younger one starts using cell phones, the higher the risk,” Sasco continued, urging a public-education effort to inform parents, politicians, and the press about children’s exceptional susceptibility.

For adults and children alike, the process by which wireless radiation may cause cancer remains uncertain, but it is thought to be indirect. Wireless radiation has been shown to damage the blood-brain barrier, a vital defense mechanism that shields the brain from carcinogenic chemicals elsewhere in the body (resulting, for example, from secondhand cigarette smoke). Wireless radiation has also been shown to interfere with DNA replication, a proven progenitor of cancer. In each of these cases, the risks are higher for children: Their skulls, being smaller, absorb more radiation than adults’ skulls do, while children’s longer life span increases their cumulative exposure.

The wireless industry has sought to downplay concerns about cell phones’ safety, and the Federal Communications Commission has followed its example. In 1996, the FCC established cell-phone safety levels based on “specific absorption rate,” or SAR. Phones were required to have a SAR of 1.6 watts or less per kilogram of body weight. In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised the FCC that its guidelines “do not account for the unique vulnerability and use patterns specific to pregnant women and children.” Nevertheless, the FCC has declined to update its standards.

The FCC has granted the industry’s wishes so often that it qualifies as a “captured agency,” argued journalist Norm Alster in a report that Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics published in 2015. The FCC allows cell-phone manufacturers to self-report SAR levels, and does not independently test industry claims or require manufacturers to display the SAR level on a phone’s packaging. “Industry controls the FCC through a soup-to-nuts stranglehold that extends from its well-placed campaign spending in Congress through its control of the FCC’s congressional oversight committees to its persistent agency lobbying,” Alster wrote. He also quoted the CTIA website praising the FCC for “its light regulatory touch.”

The revolving-door syndrome that characterizes so many industries and federal agencies reinforces the close relationship between the wireless industry and the FCC. Just as Tom Wheeler went from running the CTIA (1992– 2004) to chairing the FCC (2013–2017), Meredith Atwell Baker went from FCC commissioner (2009–2011) to the presidency of the CTIA (2014 through today). To ensure its access on Capitol Hill, the wireless industry made $26 million in campaign contributions in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and spent $87 million on lobbying in 2017.

Neutralizing the safety issue has been an ongoing imperative because the research keeps coming, much of it from outside the United States. But the industry’s European and Asian branches have, like their US counterpart, zealously war-gamed the science, spun the news coverage, and thereby warped the public perception of their products’ safety.

The WHO began to study the health effects of electric- and magnetic-field radiation (EMF) in 1996 under the direction of Michael Repacholi, an Australian biophysicist. Although Repacholi claimed on disclosure forms that he was “independent” of corporate influence, in fact Motorola had funded his research: While Repacholi was director of the WHO’s EMF program, Motorola paid $50,000 a year to his former employer, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which then transferred the money to the WHO program. When journalists exposed the payments, Repacholi denied that there was anything untoward about them because Motorola had not paid him personally. Eventually, Motorola’s payments were bundled with other industry contributions and funneled through the Mobile and Wireless Forum, a trade association that gave the WHO’s program $150,000 annually. In 1999, Repacholi helped engineer a WHO statement that “EMF exposures below the limits recommended in international guidelines do not appear to have any known consequence on health.”

Two wireless trade associations contributed $4.7 million to the Interphone study launched by the WHO’s International Agency for Cancer Research in 2000. That $4.7 million represented 20 percent of the $24 million budget for the Interphone study, which convened 21 scientists from 13 countries to explore possible links between cell phones and two common types of brain tumor: glioma and meningioma. The money was channeled through a “firewall” mechanism intended to prevent corporate influence on the IACR’s findings, but whether such firewalls work is debatable. “Industry sponsors know [which scientists] receive funding; sponsored scientists know who provides funding,” Dariusz Leszczynski, an adjunct professor of biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, has explained.

To be sure, the industry could not have been pleased with some of the Interphone study’s conclusions. The study found that the heaviest cell-phone users were 80 percent more likely to develop glioma. (The initial finding of 40 percent was increased to 80 to correct for selection bias.) The Interphone study also concluded that individuals who had owned a cell phone for 10 years or longer saw their risk of glioma increase by nearly 120 percent. However, the study did not find any increased risk for individuals who used their cell phones less frequently; nor was there evidence of any connection with meningioma.

When the Interphone conclusions were released in 2010, industry spokespeople blunted their impact by deploying what experts on lying call “creative truth-telling.” “Interphone’s conclusion of no overall increased risk of brain cancer is consistent with conclusions reached in an already large body of scientific research on this subject,” John Walls, the vice president for public affairs at the CTIA, told reporters. The wiggle word here is “overall”: Since some of the Interphone studies did not find increased brain-cancer rates, stipulating “overall” allowed Walls to ignore those that did. The misleading spin confused enough news organizations that their coverage of the Interphone study was essentially reassuring to the industry’s customers. The Wall Street Journal announced “Cell Phone Study Sends Fuzzy Signal on Cancer Risk,” while the BBC’s headline declared: “No Proof of Mobile Cancer Risk.”

The industry’s $4.7 million contribution to the WHO appears to have had its most telling effect in May 2011, when the WHO convened scientists in Lyon, France, to discuss how to classify the cancer risk posed by cell phones. The industry not only secured “observer” status at Lyon for three of its trade associations; it placed two industry-funded experts on the working group that would debate the classification, as well as additional experts among the “invited specialists” who advised the group.

Niels Kuster, a Swiss engineer, initially filed a conflict-of-interest statement affirming only that his research group had taken money from “various governments, scientific institutions and corporations.” But after Kuster co-authored a summary of the WHO’s findings in The Lancet Oncology, the medical journal issued a correction expanding on Kuster’s conflict-of-interest statement, noting payments from the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, GSMA, and Deutsche Telekom. Nevertheless, Kuster participated in the entire 10 days of deliberations.

The industry also mounted a campaign to discredit Lennart Hardell, a Swedish professor of oncology serving on the working group. Hardell’s studies, which found an increase in gliomas and acoustic neuromas in long-term cell-phone users, were some of the strongest evidence that the group was considering.

Hardell had already attracted the industry’s displeasure back in 2002, when he began arguing that children shouldn’t use cell phones. Two scientists with industry ties quickly published a report with the Swedish Radiation Authority dismissing Hardell’s research. His detractors were John D. Boice and Joseph K. McLaughlin of the International Epidemiology Institute, a company that provided “Litigation Support” and “Corporate Counseling” to various industries, according to its website. Indeed, at the very time Boice and McLaughlin were denigrating Hardell’s work, the institute was providing expert-witness services to Motorola in a brain-tumor lawsuit against the company.

The wireless industry didn’t get the outcome that it wanted at Lyon, but it did limit the damage. A number of the working group’s scientists had favored increasing the classification of cell phones to Category 2A, a “probable” carcinogen; but in the end, the group could only agree on an increase to 2B, a “possible” carcinogen.

That result enabled the industry to continue proclaiming that there was no scientifically established proof that cell phones are dangerous. Jack Rowley of the GSMA trade association said that “interpretation should be based on the overall balance of the evidence.” Once again, the slippery word “overall” downplayed the significance of scientific research that the industry didn’t like.

Industry-funded scientists had been pressuring their colleagues for a decade by then, according to Leszczynski, another member of the Lyon working group. Leszczynski was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School when he first experienced such pressure, in 1999. He had wanted to investigate the effects of radiation levels higher than the SAR levels permitted by government, hypothesizing that this might better conform to real-world practices. But when he proposed the idea at scientific meetings, Leszczynski said, it was shouted down by Mays Swicord, Joe Elder, and C.K. Chou—scientists who worked for Motorola. As Leszczynski recalled, “It was a normal occurrence at scientific meetings—and I attended really a lot of them—that whenever [a] scientist reported biological effects at SAR over [government-approved levels], the above-mentioned industry scientists, singularly or as a group, jumped up to the microphone to condemn and to discredit the results.”

Years later, a study that Leszczynski described as a “game changer” discovered that even phones meeting government standards, which in Europe were a SAR of 2.0 watts per kilogram, could deliver exponentially higher peak radiation levels to certain skin and blood cells. (SAR levels reached a staggering 40 watts per kilogram—20 times higher than officially permitted.) In other words, the official safety levels masked dramatically higher exposures in hot spots, but industry-funded scientists obstructed research on the health impacts.

“Everyone knows that if your research results show that radiation has effects, the funding flow dries up,” Leszczynski said in an interview in 2011. Sure enough, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland, where Leszczynski had a long career, discontinued research on the biological effects of cell phones and discharged him a year later.

According to scientists involved in the process, the WHO may decide later this year to reconsider its categorization of the cancer risk posed by cell phones; the WHO itself told The Nation that before making any such decision, it will review the final report of the National Toxicology Program, a US government initiative. The results reported by the NTP in 2016 seem to strengthen the case for increasing the assessment of cell-phone radiation to a “probable” or even a “known” carcinogen. Whereas the WHO’s Interphone study compared the cell-phone usage of people who had contracted cancer with that of people who hadn’t, the NTP study exposed rats and mice to cell-phone radiation and observed whether the animals got sick.

“There is a carcinogenic effect,” announced Ron Melnick, the designer of the study. Male rats exposed to cell-phone radiation developed cancer at a substantially higher rate, though the same effect was not seen in female rats. Rats exposed to radiation also had lower birth rates, higher infant mortality, and more heart problems than those in the control group. The cancer effect occurred in only a small percentage of the rats, but that small percentage could translate into a massive amount of human cancers. “Given the extremely large number of people who use wireless communications devices, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease…could have broad implications for public health,” the NTP’s draft report explained.

But this was not the message that media coverage of the NTP study conveyed, as the industry blanketed reporters with its usual “more research is needed” spin. “Seriously, stop with the irresponsible reporting on cell phones and cancer,” demanded a Vox headline. “Don’t Believe the Hype,” urged The Washington PostNewsweek, for its part, stated the NTP’s findings in a single paragraph, then devoted the rest of the article to an argument for why they should be ignored.

The NTP study was to be peer-reviewed at a meeting on March 26–28, amid signs that the program’s leadership is pivoting to downplay its findings. The NTP had issued a public-health warning when the study’s early results were released in 2016. But when the NTP released essentially the same data in February 2018, John Bucher, the senior scientist who directed the study, announced in a telephone press conference that “I don’t think this is a high-risk situation at all,” partly because the study had exposed the rats and mice to higher levels of radiation than a typical cell-phone user experienced.

Microwave News’s Slesin speculated on potential explanations for the NTP’s apparent backtracking: new leadership within the program, where a former drug-company executive, Brian Berridge, now runs the day-to-day operations; pressure from business-friendly Republicans on Capitol Hill and from the US military, whose weapons systems rely on wireless radiation; and the anti-science ideology of the Trump White House. The question now: Will the scientists doing the peer review endorse the NTP’s newly ambivalent perspective, or challenge it?

The scientific evidence that cell phones and wireless technologies in general can cause cancer and genetic damage is not definitive, but it is abundant and has been increasing over time. Contrary to the impression that most news coverage has given the public, 90 percent of the 200 existing studies included in the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed database on the oxidative effects of wireless radiation—its tendency to cause cells to shed electrons, which can lead to cancer and other diseases—have found a significant impact, according to a survey of the scientific literature conducted by Henry Lai. Seventy-two percent of neurological studies and 64 percent of DNA studies have also found effects.

The wireless industry’s determination to bring about the Internet of Things, despite the massive increase in radiation exposure this would unleash, raises the stakes exponentially. Because 5G radiation can only travel short distances, antennas roughly the size of a pizza box will have to be installed approximately every 250 feet to ensure connectivity. “Industry is going to need hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of new antenna sites in the United States alone,” said Moskowitz, the UC Berkeley researcher. “So people will be bathed in a smog of radiation 24/7.”

There is an alternative approach, rooted in what some scientists and ethicists call the “precautionary principle,” which holds that society doesn’t need absolute proof of hazard to place limits on a given technology. If the evidence is sufficiently solid and the risks sufficiently great, the precautionary principle calls for delaying the deployment of that technology until further research clarifies its impacts. The scientists’ petition discussed earlier urges government regulators to apply the precautionary principle to 5G technology. Current safety guidelines “protect industry—not health,” contends the petition, which “recommend[s] a moratorium on the roll-out of [5G]…until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.”

No scientist can say with certainty how many wireless-technology users are likely to contract cancer, but that is precisely the point: We simply don’t know. Nevertheless, we are proceeding as if we do know the risk, and that the risk is vanishingly small. Meanwhile, more and more people around the world, including countless children and adolescents, are getting addicted to cell phones every day, and the shift to radiation-heavy 5G technology is regarded as a fait accompli. Which is just how Big Wireless likes it.

 

Seventh Circuit Hears Privacy Case Over Smart Meters

Seventh Circuit Hears Privacy Case Over Smart Meters

 

CHICAGO (CN) – With privacy concerns under the national spotlight, the Seventh Circuit wrestled Tuesday with a claim that a Chicago suburb’s smart electricity meters collect too much information about residents in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“This is the internet of things that’s starting to give some people the creeps,” U.S. Circuit Judge Diane Wood said at the hearing. “Soon your oven is going to be telling you how to lose weight.”

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, a nonprofit, sued Naperville in 2012, claiming the city rushed to install smart meters that wirelessly broadcast information about consumers’ electricity every 15 minutes.

The old analog meters were checked by an employee of the city’s utility service just once a month.

In addition to collecting kilowatt per hour data used to bill customers, the smart meters also collect “reactive power data.”

“This data can be used to identify unique signatures of appliances used in the home,” which is far more invasive than the data collected by analog meters, the nonprofit’s attorney, David Lee Gulbransen, told the Seventh Circuit panel Tuesday morning.

For example, the data would allow the city to determine when a resident is using their oven or electric water kettle.

Naperville claims that its interest in this data will allow it to keep electricity prices as low as possible for its customers, as the city purchases all its electricity from outside sources.

It also says the information will help it to implement a demand-response program to reward customers for using less electricity during peak hours and promote environmental conservation.

A federal judge found for the city in 2013, finding that city residents consented to the data collection by signing up for electricity service.

But on Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit was not certain that customers “voluntarily” gave up their personal information in order to receive electricity service, or whether they were forced to simply to live in the modern world – especially when there is no alternative utility service offered in Naperville.

“Why doesn’t Naperville have a business interest in this data?” Judge Wood asked Gulbransen. “It’s not just to be snoopy and figure out who’s baking a lot of apple pies.”

She also inquired whether the city could legally use the collected data to send a targeted mailer to people using old appliances to inform them about city programs to encourage a switch to more energy-efficient appliances.

Gulbransen responded, “Business interest does not protect you from violations of the Fourth Amendment.”

The judges queried Naperville attorney Kristen Foley extensively about the city’s privacy practices regarding the data it collects.

“We will not release any information without a warrant or a court order,” Foley told the court. “We hold ourselves to a very high standard.”

U.S. Circuit Judge William Bauer asked whether the city might use this information to hunt down people growing marijuana in their homes, but Foley denied that Naperville had any such intention.
Wood laughed and said, “It’ll all be legal soon, don’t worry about it.”

Foley told the panel that even the Naperville Police Department needed a warrant to access the data, and that none of it is sent out to a third party for analysis.

“What we are doing is reasonable,” Foley said, even if it is not the least restrictive means of achieving the city’s goals.

Naperville allows residents to shut off their smart meter’s wireless component for a fee of $68.35, but the nonprofit says this is not a true opt-out alternative, because the meter will still collect the customer’s information on its memory card.

Unlike private utility company Comcast, which also has pushed for the installation of smart meters, Naperville’s utility service does not permit residents to keep their analog meter, even for a fee.

U.S. Circuit Judge Michael Kanne rounded out the three-judge panel.

The Seventh Circuit is expected to issue a ruling in this case within three months.

https://www.courthousenews.com/seventh-circuit-hears-privacy-case-over-smart-meters/

NOVA SCOTIA-Why concerns persist about the supposed health risks of smart meters

Why concerns persist about the supposed health risks of smart meters

Abundance of anti-smart meter information online is helping fuel questions about how safe they are

 

As Nova Scotia Power works to install $133 million worth of smart meters in the homes and businesses of its 500,000 customers, it’s also going to have to fight unfounded claims that they’re bad for people’s health.

The meters will allow the company to automatically measure how much electricity people consume, eliminating the need for meter readers to manually take the measurement.

The utility says the meters will also provide consumers better information about their usage and will automatically generate outage notifications, resulting in more efficient power restoration.

Despite statements from groups such as Health Canada, Public Health England and the American Cancer Society that say smart meters don’t pose any health risks, anti-smart meter advocates claim the radiofrequency (RF) energy emitted by the devices can cause a host of health conditions, like cancer, autism and Parkinson’s disease.

Like all wireless devices, smart meters emit RF energy.

“The amount of energy absorbed depends largely on how close your body is to a smart meter,” reads Health Canada’s website. “Unlike cellular phones, where the transmitter is held close to the head and much of the RF energy that is absorbed is localized to one specific area, RF energy from smart meters is typically transmitted at a much greater distance from the human body.

“This results in very low RF exposure levels across the entire body, much like exposure to AM or FM radio broadcast signals.”

In other words, if you’re really concerned about smart meters, you probably shouldn’t use a cellphone.

Rob Thacker is an astrophysics professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and a regular science guest on CBC’s Mainstreet. Thacker also hosted a radio show called The Science Files, which educated people about science and made it easy for them to understand.

With an abundance of information online, he said it’s easy for people to find materials that confirm their assumptions.

“It’s certainly created a situation in which people can go and find the message that they want,” said Thacker. “As a scientist, you’re taught to be skeptical, and so in some sense, I’m very sympathetic to people who are very concerned about the impact of technology and what it could be doing for our health.”

Thacker said he’s not an expert on radiofrequency energy and possible health risks, but he bases his comments on the science he’s read.

Why emotion can trump facts

Thacker said it’s tough for science to compete with people’s anecdotes about the health problems they claim smart meters have caused.

“When you hear about a person talking about their own experience, that is a strong message. Cold, hard statistics don’t convince very many people because we don’t really know what they mean a lot of the time. So that is a big challenge for communicating,” he said.

Suzanne Gravelle, of Lower East Chezzetcook, N.S., says she’s concerned about the alleged health impacts of smart meters.

“I definitely don’t want to bring something to my home that has the potential of harming me or people in my home in any way — especially since this power meter is right on one of my bedroom walls,” she said.

Gravelle said she’d be open to having a smart meter installed if Nova Scotia Power could guarantee that it wouldn’t cause any health issues.

Why science doesn’t offer 100% guarantees

But the very nature of science means it doesn’t offer a 100 per cent guarantee about its findings.

That’s because a scientific theory is the best explanation based on all available evidence and can change over time if new or more accurate evidence comes to light. For instance, it was long thought the sun revolved around the Earth, until the work of Copernicus and others brought forth evidence that in fact the sun was at the centre of our solar system.

“If people are saying, ‘I’ve got the answer, this is it, this hurts 100 per cent of the time,’ you’ve really got to prick your antennae up and think about is that really true?,” said Thacker.

Context is also important. For instance, even something like clean water can be fatal in some circumstances.

Take the case of a California woman who died in 2007 from water intoxication after participating in a water-drinking competition. Water intoxication occurs when water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed, upsetting the body’s delicate balance of electrolytes, which are critical for nerve and muscle function.

Thacker said while people want certainty, “uncertainty very often is the currency of science.”

How to spot shoddy information

When people are looking at research, Thacker said one of the things they should look for is its limitations.

“When you’re looking at [let’s] say websites that are trying to influence you, they’ll often talk about absolute certainty, they’ll often talk about things in a way that appeals to having the answer. When in fact, science, if it’s good science, shouldn’t do that,” he said.

“It should be completely clear what the limitations of the study are.”

Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Tiffany Chase says the company conducted an extensive review of scientific research and literature and determined that smart meters do not pose a health risk. (CBC)

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Power says while there is “a substantial amount of conflicting information” online about smart meters, safety is the company’s top priority.

“We want to assure our customers that our team has extensively reviewed scientific research and literature related to smart meters prior to applying to the UARB to roll them out in Nova Scotia,” spokesperson Tiffany Chase said in an email.

Customers will have the option not upgrade to a smart meter, but Nova Scotia Power said it “continues to work on the details of this proposal” through a UARB-linked review process.

Chase said customers with questions or concerns about smart meters can contact the utility directly.

directly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Woodbury

Reporter

Richard Woodbury is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia’s digital team. He can be reached at richard.woodbury@cbc.ca.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/smart-meter-myth-busting-nova-scotia-1.4594681

 

 

 

 

 

 

IOWA-Fairfield’s smart meter debate

Fairfield’s smart meter debate

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Mar 29, 2018

Whether Fairfield residents should replace their analog energy meters with “smart meters” that emit radio waves has become a subject of controversy in the past few months.

Alliant Energy announced in late 2017 that it planned to install smart meters …

 

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE:

https://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/fairfields-smart-meter-debate/1735907

UK-Russian ‘cyber war’ hackers could target smart meters in British homes plunging the country into massive chaotic blackouts

The Sun

HOME HACKS 

Russian ‘cyber war’ hackers could target smart meters in British homes plunging the country into massive chaotic blackouts

The devices, used to monitor a home’s power usage, are among a handful of new technologies identified as the most vulnerable to cyber attacks.

 Hackers could soon begin targeting smart meters to bring down energy grids, it is claimed

CYBER hackers could soon be able to hack your home smart meter – crashing energy grids and plunging cities into blackouts, it is claimed.

The devices, used to monitor a home’s power usage, are among a handful of new technologies identified as the most vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Hackers could soon begin targeting smart meters to bring down energy grids, it is claimed

Author Charles Arthur, in his new book Cyber Wars, describes such attacks as the future of cyber warfare.

His warning comes just weeks following reports GCHQ raised concerns that smart meters are vulnerable to hackers hoping to steal personal details and defraud customers.

Charles’ book describes how meters might communicate with utility companies to monitor usage, and in extreme circumstances, to support power cuts during shortages.

He writes: “What if… an attacker is able to break into a smart meter system and send an order telling the meters to turn off the electricity, and then orders them to wipe or change their cryptographic keys?

 There are smart meters in some 11 million homes across the UK
Author Charles Arthur, in his new book Cyber Wars, describes such attacks as the future of cyber warfare

“It would be like installing ransom-ware in every house’s electric meter; and you might not even know if the meters could be reset. You’d have to replace them.

“Such a tactic would hardly be the choice of an amateur hacker.

“But a nation state might choose to do it as an alternative to a direct attack, with the advantage that cyber attacks don’t leave missile trails back to their source.

“In a sense, it’s the opposite of a neutron bomb, which kills people but leaves buildings standing; a smart meter attack would disable the infrastructure, but (mostly) leave people unhurt.

“Without electricity, modern economies collapse, and might not recover.”

The Government wants every home in Britain to have a smart meter. To date some 11 million houses have them installed.

This effort has pushed ahead despite warnings of possible vulnerabilities eight years ago.

In 2010, Ross Anderson and Shailendra Fuloria from Cambridge University warned such an attack is “the cyber equivalent of a nuclear strike”.

They noted “being able to turn out the lights in another country” was a “completely disabling strategic attack that would reduce the enemy population to nineteenth-century standards of living”.

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “Smart meters have been specifically designed to prevent the threats outlined and are one of the most secure pieces of technology being rolled out to every home in Great Britain.

“Security of the system has been at its heart from development through to implementation.”


  • Extracts are from Cyber Wars by Charles Arthur is ©2018 and were reproduced with permission from Kogan Page Ltd.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5922516/russia-cyber-war-hackers-smart-meters-british-homes-blackouts/

Can your cellphone cause cancer? Scientists find definitive link in study of rats.

    • 29 MAR 18

    News Flash on the NTP Rat study

    Can your cellphone cause cancer? Scientists find definitive link in study of rats.

    From The News & Observer

    March 28, 2018

  • *******************************************************************************

The Wireless Cloud is an “energy monster” warming the world

The Wireless Cloud is an “energy monster” warming the world
    • 28 MAR 18

    The Wireless Cloud is an “energy monster” warming the world

    Following on from the previous message “How smartphones are heating up the planet” here is an old analysis from 2013 that also examines the energy usage of wireless technology. Their analysis apparently did not include an estimation of the additional future contribution of 5G, the Internet of Things and possibly the roll-out of smart meters. As such, it is a very conservative estimation. All heating up the planet to what end ? (next message)

    Titled The Power of Wireless Cloud,  it was prepared and published by The Centre for Energy-Efficient
    Telecommunications (CEET): Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs and University of Melbourne.

    Excerpts:

    The energy use of cloud services accessed via wireless networks is expected to grow up to 460% between 2012 and 2015, the equivalent of 4.9 million new cars on the roads. The analysis shows that wireless access networks (Wi-Fi and 4G LTE) will be responsible for 90% of that energy. Data centres, the focus of recent high-profile Greenpeace research, account for only 9%.

    The problem is that we’re all accessing cloud services – things like webmail, social networking and virtual applications – over wireless networks. It’s the modern way, but wireless is an energy monster; it’s just inherently inefficient.

    Access the full report here

    And from phys.org, 13 April 2013:

    (Phys.org) —Research from Australia delivers bracing facts about serious demands on power in the coming years. The researchers find that just pinning power-grid drains on the “cloud” is imprecise. The real problem is on the mobile cloud.The researchers zeroed in on energy consumption needed to support cloud services accessed by wireless networks. They found that wireless networking infrastructure worldwide accounts for significantly more power consumption than datacenters.

    “By 2015, the energy consumption of data centers will be a drop in the ocean compared to wireless networks in delivering cloud services,” said Dr Kerry Hinton, Deputy Director, CEET (stands for Center for Energy Efficient Telecommunications). CEET is behind the wake-up report, “The Power of Wireless Cloud.” According to CEET, that drop in the ocean is supported by research findings.Wireless networks will use about 90 percent of the energy needed to power the entire wireless cloud services ecosystem in 2015, in contrast with data centers, accounting for nine percent—or less.

    While research elsewhere has pointed to data centers as the culprit in threatening energy consumption, loyal users of services from Google, Facebook, Amazon and others, with their portable devices, are the real concern, driving a massive surge in energy consumption.

    “The problem is that we’re all accessing cloud services – things like webmail, social networking and virtual applications – over wireless networks,” said Hinton. “It’s the modern way but wireless is an energy monster, it’s just inherently inefficient.” A simple takeaway is that “Industry needs to focus on the real issues with wireless network technologies if it wants to solve this problem.” All aspects of the cloud ecosystem, according to the
    researchers, must be looked at, as well as data centers.

    “We often think of bandwidth as the barrier to the way online services evolve and improve,” said a CEET statement discussing the report, but the “very real message here is that the real bottleneck, looming sooner than we think, may be energy.”

    One of the more bracing factoids in the report compares wireless cloud energy consumption with putting new cars on the road. “Our energy calculations show that by 2015, wireless cloud will consume up to 43 TWh, compared to only 9.2 TWh in 2012, an increase of 460%. This is an increase in carbon footprint from 6 megatonnes of CO2 in 2012 to up to 30 megatonnes of CO2 in 2015, the equivalent of adding 4.9 million cars to the roads.”

    The goal of the report is not to suggest that everyone stop swiping and tapping on their smartscreens, however.

    “I think it’s unlikely people trade away the mobile convenience of these services,” said a CEET statement. The report is intended as a guide for finding real solutions. According to CEET, one solution might be to increase the way network resources are shared among users, “but more likely we’ll need a radical improvement in the efficiency of the technologies themselves and potentially a fundamental change to the way data is managed
    across the global network. These are the things we’re investigating at CEET.”

    CEET is a partnership between Alcatel-Lucent Australia, Bell Labs, the University of Melbourne, and the Victorian State Government. Their focus is on energy-efficient telecommunications.

 

 EMFacts Consultancy don@emfacts.com

South Carolina Woman Arrested for Refusing Smart Meter; Letter Urging State Attorney General to Intervene

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: E. Michelle Mancini • blufftonsc@icloud.com
Please email for phone number
Armed Officers Arrest and Jail Woman to Enforce “Smart” Meters
PALMETTO ELECTRIC GETS ARMED THUGS AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE TO FORCE THEIR POOR CHOICE OF METERS 
Bluffton, South Carolina, February 19, 2018 A Sheriff arrested and jailed a woman after she had a smart meter on her home changed to an analog meter due to health issues from the radiation. The arrest warrant for Elizabeth Michelle Mancini states that Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc., did not approve the meter, and could not read it.
Ms. Mancini, a Technical Writer with no criminal record, stated, “Palmetto did not, and could not rebut my affidavit of claims related to their having put an unsafe and invasive meter on my home. I didn’t violate any law because I was simply acting in self-defense against an unsafe and unlawful meter.” She said she had no intent to defraud the utility company, and that “Utilities have been able to read analog meters for over 70 years–a third grader can do it.”
Ms. Mancini began requesting Palmetto to remove their smart meter in 2015, to protect her health and her Fourth Amendment right to privacy in the home. Ms. Mancini described going through an administrative process, serving the CEO of the power company with a “Notice and Demand,” and a subsequent “Notice of Default,” prior to installing a safe, hardwired analog meter. She returned the smart meter, undamaged, to the CEO of Palmetto and included photos of all readings for meter reading purposes, and to show she was not attempting to defraud the company.
Armed officers came to her home and made the arrest.
“Most of us are being harmed by excessive radiation, but only a small percentage of the population are clinically sensitive to radio frequencies. There was no compelling public interest to strip search and shackle me, and there is no public benefit to my prosecution. These so-called smart meters are a profitable fraud. The crime is Palmetto’s gross negligence regarding the health effects from these meters and also the violation of our right to privacy within the home. They are simultaneously harming and spying on trusting, innocent customers under the guise of delivering the most basic human needs.”
Ms. Mancini made recordings of the police when they invaded her home, but law enforcement scrubbed the recordings.
“I hope my arrest will help lead to people joining together to refuse this technology. Easements are not open ended and do not include the forcing of a radiation emitting surveillance device,” she said. Ms. Mancini has requested a continuance of a hearing scheduled.
Letter to the Attorney General of South Carolina from We Are The Evidence https://wearetheevidence.org
Dear General Wilson,
Yesterday, on February 19th, a resident of SC, E. Michelle Mancini,  was arrested for refusing to have a wireless “smart” meter installed on her home. Ms. Mancini is suffering from Microwave Sickness – i.e. sickness from wireless radiation (just like I do).
 
Putting a wireless meter that emits non-stop pulsed microwave radiation on a home of a person with Microwave Sickness is like putting sugar in the water of a person with diabetes.
 
To the best of my legal understanding, forcing on Ms. Mancini a device that will cause her harm is criminal assault. 
I would like to receive General Wilson’s response to this arrest. 
 
I also would like to ask him to do the right thing and intervene and make sure that Ms. Mancini would not be forced to have a “smart” meter on her house and that no further action be taken against her. If anything, the executives of a company that is forcing a harmful device on people in their home should be the ones arrested and charged, not those who object to the assault
Please be aware that in more than half of the states in the US people are allowed to opt-out from having a “smart” meter on their home. Therefore, refusing to allow people to opt-out from the installation of a “smart” meter is also a violation of the Commerce Clause.
Please also inform General Wilson that the results of the biggest Federal study on wireless radiation were published this month and the study confirmed not only that this radiation causes cancer, but that it also breaks the DNA.  These findings are contrary to the long-held false belief that non-ionizing radiation cannot break  DNA. Thereby this study refutes the wireless industry’s stance, as well as the FCC’s stance, that there are no biological and health effects.
How is it that a company is allowed to force on a woman, in her home, a wireless meter that can break her DNA and cause cancer, especially when she is already sick from this radiation?
Following is the Press Release for this disturbing incident.
I look forward to receiving General Wilson’s response.
Thank you,
Dafna Tachover, Managing Director
Attorney (NY, Israel), MBA
Phone: (845) 377 0211

SC-Woman arrested over refusing so called smart meter on her home…..

Our kids are fighting for us, where we failed them!!!  We cannot fail them here!!!!

Join us in the fight to stop hazardous microwave radiation expose in our homes 24/7 from the so called smart grid.    We must also, support those like Michelle who have put themselves on the line for all of us………Sandaura

 

Palmetto Electric VP Files False Criminal Report Against Customer to Force Smart Meter Compliance

More

Beaufort, SC – Wilson Saleeby, Vice President, Engineering and Operations at Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc. filed a complaint with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, leading to a February 5, 2018 arrest of customer Elizabeth Michelle Mancini. The police report states the deputies responded “in reference to stolen property,” and lists as an additional offense, “Utilities/Altering, tampering, by passive utility meters.”

Mr. Saleeby used his home address and a non-office phone number with no established voice mailbox, to file the complaint.

Ms. Mancini had been communicating with Palmetto Electric for over two years to have her “smart” meter removed and replaced with an analog meter for reasons that included medical necessity. The meter was creating health issues including burning sensations, weight loss, and increased sensitivity to pulsed RF (radio frequency) radiation.

In 2016, knowing Palmetto Electric is part of an electric cooperative, Ms. Mancini communicated with Palmetto’s CEO Beryl Davis, Palmetto’s attorney Danny Henderson, and Mr. Saleeby, as to whether she could petition cooperative members to offer an opt-out provision. The attorney responded that Palmetto had no process, by petition or otherwise, to alter how Palmetto handles their integrated system of “smart” meters, and “no plans to change the present methodology.”

After making numerous calls, emails and getting nowhere, Ms. Mancini sent multiple legal notices via certified mail to Palmetto’s CEO and attorney. Her notices included an offer to report analog meter readings monthly so that Palmetto did not have to perform field service to do on-site visual readings. When Palmetto failed to rebut her allegations of unsafe metering, she hired a contractor to replace the “smart” meter with an analog meter. She safely shipped the two-way communication device via UPS to the CEO, receipt acknowledged, six days before the arrest.

On February 2, 2018, Ms. Mancini had a lengthy phone conversation with Beaufort County Sheriff, P.J. Tanner, while three armed officers were at her door. She explained that she was trying to protect her health and safety, had returned the meter with photos of readings, and that no electricity or property was stolen.

Then, on February 5, officers came back. Officer Garst told her an arrest warrant would be served at the jail, climbed over a gate, and put Ms. Mancini in cuffs. Listen here to the surviving portion of the arrest recording: vimeo.com/258606671.

Officer Garst ordered a physical search of Ms. Mancini, invaded her home, questioned her about being a member of a political group she had never heard of, and referred to her as “The Prisoner.” While in custody, the Beaufort County Detention Center continued Palmetto Electric’s assault on her health and person with a strip search, confinement with sick people, sleep deprivation, etc. Ms. Mancini is a Technical Writer who for years had a difficult to obtain, trusted citizen Secret security level clearance, issued by the federal government.

While jailed, a sheriff’s deputy escorted a Palmetto technician onto Ms. Mancini’s property to remove the analog meter. Ms. Mancini’s returned home to find a new “smart” meter, secured with three padlocks on the service box.

It is unknown what property was allegedly stolen, since the analog meter was recording usage. It simply wasn’t automatically communicating back and forth to Palmetto Electric thousands of times a month. Altering and/or tampering with an electric meter is a misdemeanor under SC statute SECTION 16-13-385, punishable by a fine of $500 or up to 30 days in jail. The next court date is scheduled for April 4, 2018.

Along with causing or increasing health problems, “smart” meters create “dirty” electricity on home wiring, and collect data on occupant activities without consent. The devices are also prone to catch fire, as evidenced in other states such as California that are experiencing problems and recalls.

Some countries, states, and localities have banned “smart” meters, or offered an opt-in or opt-out provision for those who do not want a microwave radiation-producing surveillance device on their property.

How can a Utility, supposedly created and existing to serve the public, use an armed police force to impose surveillance equipment and devices that cause harmful health effects upon its customers? If this can happen to a law abiding middle-aged woman for resisting a “smart” meter, what’s next?

Let’s stop this now. Get on board to help before they are at your door.

Contact: maryannewise@gmail.com

smartgridawareness.org/2017/02/25/smart-meters-profile-consumers/
(Dr. Dart) youtube.com/watch?v=aRn113m1Dkg
takebackyourpower.net
drdykema.com/smart_meter.php
stopsmartmeters.org/

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