Smart meters have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who says their risks are minimal. However, many customers blame them for causing health problems and house fires. These devices are responsible for two-way communication with utilities corporations and government; helping them spy on their customers.
Researchers in Germany have concluded that when privacy implications were analyzed, they proved that customers were being surveilled by their utility company with encrypted data to determine whether or not the customers were home.
They are marketed as a way to save energy on monthly bills as well as reduce carbon emissions. Jim Marston, vice president of energy for the Environmental Defense Fund, maintains that “if done right, smart meters allow us to eliminate waste from the system. It’s not unlike the revolution in telephones. These are things that allow you to know when you are gone and to turn off all your lights. Or to allow your appliances to turn on only when renewable power is available, or for utilities to figure out where outages are.”
In Australia, the energy corporation, Origin Energy, forces customers to fill out online forms that request detailed personal information that is shared with private sector corporations. This data is given to government authorities electricity installers, data processing analysts, IT service providers, debt collection and credit reporting agencies.
In California, smart meters give hourly reports of electrical usage through wireless connections. Yet the California Public Service Commission (CPSC) received complaints that the data received by utilities corporations led to rate hikes.
Pacific gas and Electric (PGE) claims that their smart meters are in compliance with FCC regulations. Most notably is that the installation of the device requires professional contractors, not utility workers, as if the usual case. PGE contracts others such as Wellington and Corix to install smart meters. These corporations hire temp workers who are not qualified and this may lead to fires and explosions.
In some states, an opt-out program has been installed where customers pay a fee for analog meters. Colorado, Maine and Arizona provide this service while Maryland and the District of Columbia does not.
The Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR), a think-tank for Internet policy in Britain, asserts that smart meters may be used as blackmail or fuel for a hostile attack against the UK government by a foreign power or a terrorist group. This information would be most likely sold to identity thieves as well as able to be manipulated by energy corporations.
Smart meters have the capacity to spy on you in your home. They collect data on the electrical usage in your home, then that information is remotely sent to a central database at your utilities corporation.
In March, CIA Director David Petraeus commented on the “internet of things” explaining that: “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing . . . The latter now going for cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”
In December of 2011, the FCC announced plans to transition unused over-the-air wireless bands into Super Wi-Fi. This super Wi-Fi will use low frequencies (from 470 to 698 megahertz) that have longer wavelengths and travel father; and even penetrate walls.
An indicator of these plans can be found on the underside of any electronic device in your home. Even on the underside of a simple calculator, toaster oven, and even your refrigerator; you will find the following: “This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.”
What this disclaimer means is that this device is not allowed to jam or block any signals and must accept any incoming signal given (by FCC regulations under Part 15 of the FCC Rules).
The Vermont Department of Health released a report in 2012 that stated smart meters use radio signals to communicate with the utility corporations and the exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) is detrimental to human health. The human body absorbs a wide range of thermal energy and capable of expelling that energy.
However high exposure to radio frequencies breaks down the body’s natural abilities.