"No More Privacy: Smart Meters Are Surveillance Devices That Monitor The Behavior In Your Home Every Single Minute Of Every Single Day"
Have you heard about the new "smart meters" that are being installed in homes all across America? Under the guise of "reducing greenhouse gas emissions" and "reducing energy bills", utility companies all over the United States are forcing tens of millions of American families to accept sophisticated surveillance devices in their homes. Currently, approximately 9 percent of all electric meters in the U.S. have been converted over to smart meters [http://www.pri.org/science/technology/smart-meters-privacy-nightmares.html]. It is being projected that by 2012, the number of smart meters in use will rise to 52 million [http://www.physorg.com/news176703307.html], and the federal government is spending a lot of money to help get these installed everywhere. Eventually the goal is to have these smart meters in all of our homes and if that ever happened there would essentially be no more privacy. Once installed, a smart meter monitors your home every single minute of every single day and it transmits very sophisticated data about your personal behavior back to the utility company.
So can't we just tell the utility companies that we don't want these stupid things?
Unfortunately, in many areas of the country you can't. For example, one outraged resident of California contacted the utility company and was told that if he did not consent to taking a smart meter he would receive no service [http://truthsurvival.com/2011/06/30/smart-meters-privacy-issues-radiation-electronic-pollution-and-more/].
So unless you want to live "off the grid", what are you going to do? Can any of us really survive without electricity these days?
The sad truth is that these things are being forced upon us.
It is happening in Europe too. The European Parliament has set a goal of having smart meters in the homes of 80 percent of all electricity consumers by the year 2020 [http://www.physorg.com/news176703307.html].
Sadly, as these smart meters have gone in there have been reports all over the country of electricity bills increasing dramatically. There have been mountains of complaints about these things and yet their use keeps spreading.
But of course the biggest issue with smart meters is how they will strip us of our privacy.
The concern is that the incredibly detailed data that these surveillance devices collect will be given or sold to a vast array of third parties.
For example, smart meters are already being used by police to bust marijuana growers.
It is also feared that insurance companies, credit agencies, lawyers, marketing firms and even criminals will be able to get their hands on this data as well.
A recent article posted on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation summarized some of the concerns [http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03/new-smart-meters-energy-use-put-privacy-risk]....
"Without strong protections, this information can and will be repurposed by interested parties. It's not hard to imagine a divorce lawyer subpoenaing this information, an insurance company interpreting the data in a way that allows it to penalize customers, or criminals intercepting the information to plan a burglary. Marketing companies will also desperately want to access this data"
For law enforcement officials, these surveillance devices are a dream come true. According to the Columbus Dispatch [http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/02/28/police-suspecting-home-pot-growing-get-power-use-data.html], police in central Ohio have been filing at least 60 subpoenas every single month for the energy-use records of those that they suspect are growing pot in their homes.
Well, it turns out that sometimes police are raiding homes that are using a lot of energy and they don't find any marijuana at all. Instead, sometimes these raids reveal others kinds of activities [http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/02/28/police-suspecting-home-pot-growing-get-power-use-data.html]....
Sometimes, high electricity use doesn't lead investigators to drugs. A federal investigation in the Powell area turned into a surprise for detectives.
"We thought it was a major grow operation ... but this guy had some kind of business involving computers," Marotta said. "I don't know how many computer servers we found in his home."
So do you want police raiding your home if you start using a little bit too much electricity?
Jerry Day, an electronics and media expert from Burbank California, recently detailed many of the ways that smart meters act as surveillance devices when they are installed in our homes....[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8JNFr_j6kdI]
1. They individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.
2. They monitor household activity and occupancy in violation of rights and domestic security.
3. They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.
4. Data about occupant's daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data.
5. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.
6. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.
7. "Smart Meters" are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.
8. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain "Smart Meter" data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.
Jerry Day has also produced a terrific YouTube video in which he explains many of these points more fully. If you live in an area where these insidious smart meters are going in, then please share this video with as many people living near you as you can....
The time to object to these smart meters is before they go in. Once they are in all of our homes it is going to be too late.
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