UK Prime Minister on Smart City Risks

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Calls for ethical and responsible technology

Excerpts from his speech to the United Nations:

“You may keep your secrets from your friends, from your parents, your children, your doctor, even your personal trainer, but it takes real effort to conceal your thoughts from Google. And if that is true today, in future there may be no where to hide.”

“Smart cities will pullulate with sensors all joined together by the internet of things.”

“This technology could also be used to keep every citizen under round the clock surveillance.”

“Your mattress will monitor your nightmares, your fridge will beep for more cheese.” 

“A giant dark thundercloud [of data] waiting to burst.” 

“Data is the crude oil of the modern economy”

“Can these algorithms be trusted with our lives and hopes? Should the machines, and only the machines, decide whether or not we are eligible for a mortgage or insurance or what surgery or medicines we should receive. Are we doomed to a cold and heartless future in which computer says yes or computer says no with the grim finality of an emperor in the arena? How do you plead with an algorithm?”

“I believe governments have been simply caught unawares by the unintended consequences of the internet- a scientific breakthrough- far more reaching in its everyday psychological impact than any other invention since Gutenberg…like nuclear power- in that it’s capable of both good and harm.”

“HOW we design the emerging technologies behind these breakthroughs and what values inform their design will shape the future of humanity. That is my point to you “

“At stake is whether we bequeath an Orwellian world, designed for censorship, repression and control, or a world of emancipation, debate and learning, where technology threatens famine and disease, but not our freedoms.”

“The mission of the United Kingdom and all who share our values must be to ensure that emerging technologies are designed from the outset for freedom, openness and pluralism with the right safeguards in place to protect our people.”

Read a transcript of his speech here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-to-the-un-general-assembly-24-september-2019

City of Seaside CA denies 5 cell towers

On September 19, 2019, the City of Seaside California denied four 4G “small cell” towers and another cell tower on a church. The reasons for denial were primarily based on visual/view shed impacts and their municipal code that states projects will not adversely impact the character of the community and its rights of way.
A council member stated they should not violate the investment that residents make in their homes and also that the Public Rights of Way are for the PUBLIC and therefore the public needs to be heard.
The Verizon attorney stated (at 3:38:33), “We need 4G as a backbone for 5G.”
The hearing starts at 1:34:57 and goes till the end of the video.

Tell the Sonoma County Supervisors to STOP 5G!

If you live in Sonoma County, CA we will will mail this postcard to the Supervisors for you asking them to STOP 5G.

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Postcard Message:

The science is in: EMFs are harmful to nature. I am calling on you to stop 5G to protect bees, birds and humans! 5G requires significantly more cell towers which will increase involuntary exposure to wireless radiation in our communities. There is no scientific evidence to support any claim of 5G safety. Scientists and public health experts from around the world are calling for a moratorium on 5G. The 30 million dollar, ten year US National Toxicology Program study found clear evidence of cancer from exposure to wireless radiation. The telecommunications industry's unbounded profit motive should never outweigh safety. Communications are safer using wired and corded connections. Stop 5G!

Sincerely,

By pressing the "Send" button you will have this postcard mailed to the Supervisors on your behalf.

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What can the county do? 1. They can create a stronger telecommunications ordinance to better protect the public and environment 2. They can include better EMF protections in their general plan, and 3. They can ask Congress to stop 5G.

Deadline for this project is now open.

Free smart meter opt out for North Carolina

Great big thanks to activists in North Carolina who won a free utility smart meter opt out provided they submit a simple note from a doctor to the utility.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) decision states, “…the Commission believes it is inappropriate to require customers who maintain that they need to avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect their health to pay [Duke Energy Carolinas] DEC’s proposed smart meter opt-out charges.

Andrew McAfee, an activist leader in this case said: “The removal of Duke’s opt-out fees stops that added insult to injury for many who suffer debilitating electrosensitivity conditions and their associated health costs,”  “Most importantly, the NCUC order recognizes our medical doctor’s proper role in determining what is healthy, not the FCC.”

The note from the doctor does not need to explain any diagnosis or symptoms, but would need to be signed and notarized and simply state:

“I am a medical physician licensed by the North Carolina Medical Board. ______________(Name of Duke Energy Customer) must avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect ______ (his or her) health.”

In California, and in other states, utilities charge extortion fees to avoid smart meters. This case in North Carolina sets an important precedent.

More: Landmark NCUC decision

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Local Authority Over Wireless Facilities in Public Rights-of-Way

EMF Safety Network engaged Best Best and Krieger partner Gail Karish to provide the legal means in which a California city can deny a small cell application in the public rights of way (PROW). Attorney Karish presents this information alongside the limitations on local authority in order to know the full scope of what a city can and can’t do.

Although the attorney has addressed the City of Sebastopol, the letter and legal advice is applicable and can be presented to any California city so they can know they are not powerless over small cell deployments.

April 24 2018 Letter to EMF Safety Network re: small cell

 

New Mexico regulators reject smart meters!!

New Mexico Public Utilities Commission has rejected a plan to install a half million smart meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission. Whereas every other US state with rare exception, is forcing smart meters on residents, or charging extortion opt-out fees, Santa Fe regulators have historically upheld the public’s best interest by rejecting smart meters!

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Chairman Sandy Jones cited “rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee, and layoffs as deal breakers”.

This decision is in stark contrast to what the California Public Utilities Commission did in 2010, which was to partner with the utilities and rapidly deploy millions of smart meters with no safety review, and despite thousands of complaints. There are four appeals filed in 2015 still pending in this case.

According to New Mexico activist and author Arthur Firstenberg, “The decision means there will not be smart meters in the near future in New Mexico’s metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg and Deming.”

Thank you to all the activists and educators who helped make this happen. Great big Congratulations!

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California Department of Public Health issues cell phone advisory

CDPH warns cell phones can impact health, especially in children

This is the press release issued from the CDPH today:

SACRAMENTO As smartphone use continues to increase in the U.S., especially among children, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued guidance for individuals and families who want to decrease their exposure to the radio frequency energy emitted from cell phones. Although the scientific community has not reached a consensus on the risks of cell phone use, research suggests long-term, high use may impact human health.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”

Cell phones emit radio frequency energy when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers, and some scientists and public health officials believe this energy may impact human health.

Meanwhile, cell phone use in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years. About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 12 percent rely on their smartphones for everyday Internet access. In addition, the average age when children get their first phone is now just 10 years old, and a majority of young people keep their phones on or near them most of the day and while they sleep.

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said Dr. Smith. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”

The new CDPH guidance includes practical steps both adults and children could take to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones. That includes:

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

See the CDPH advisory: How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones

This CDPH press release is also available in Espanol

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Defeat of Cell Tower Bill SB 649 Celebrated and Next Steps

On Sunday, Oct. 29 Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass joined EMF Safety Network for a photo at the Sebastopol Farmers Market to celebrate the defeat of Senate Bill 649, which would have created a state mandated system of cell towers in California. Governor Brown vetoed SB 649 two weeks ago.
Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County were among the 300 cities, 47 counties and over 100 organizations opposed to SB 649. Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Levine also opposed the bill.
The defeat of SB 649 was won by a consortium of organizations, especially the League of California Cities, RCRC representing Rural Counties, Best Best and Krieger, Environmental Working Group and the many organizations who opposed the bill.
As for our contributions, early on EMF Safety Network (EMFSN) partnered with Ecological Options Network (EON) and formally opposed SB 649 when it was first introduced in March, and re-introduced our opposition to the subsequent committees.
We were fortunate to have Environmental Working Group to guide us on how to oppose the bill. We created a letter template and brought in many groups to oppose SB 649.  We kept our list members informed via email, website, Facebook and Twitter. We gave people the science, tools, flyers and information on how to take action to oppose SB 649.

Read more including next steps