TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR YOUR PROPERTY, YOU MUST GET
By William Boardman Email address removed"> Email address removed
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Smart Meter Awareness Group, Naperville, Illinois by Napervill Smart Meter Awareness
What do you call it when the police come onto your property over your objection, without a warrant, and then arrest you for blocking the installation of a surveillance device? You call it smart meter installation in Naperville, Illinois, one of the few places where there's still resistance to the unproven devices.
Naperville, with a city-owned electric utility, has almost finished installing all its smart meters. In March it plans to "conduct a public proceeding in order to consider proposed Federal energy standards and decide whether it will implement these proposed standards or decline to do so," as required by federal law.
Naperville, where the police arrested a woman for filming public officials carrying out their public duties, all the while being filmed by a TV camera crew, may be an unusual place, but the issues raised by smart meters are national and global. The woman, arrested on a public sidewalk, was charged with "attempted eavesdropping."
With almost 50 million residential wireless smart meters installed in the United States by the end of 2012, smart meters have largely disappeared from news media at all levels, even though their usefulness and safety are no more assured now than when they were first proposed years ago.
Even Backers Offer No Guarantees for Smart Meters
The projected usefulness of wireless smart meters won't be measurable until they have been more widely installed and in use for some time. The most likely use will be a utility's ability to raise electric rates by charging more when usage is highest.
Utilities might justify this by the cost of installing and operating wireless meter networks, although the installation has been heavily subsidized and utilities made the choice to use wireless meters even though a wired meter network is more stable and less expensive to operate.
The human health effects of wireless smart meters have yet to be demonstrated, since their impact is cumulative over time. Basically the utilities are running a massive health experiment and most of the population will be the guinea pigs.
The security of wireless smart meters from hackers, government surveillance, marketing data collectors, or anyone else has yet to be demonstrated. There is generally no protection, for example, preventing utilities from monitoring behavior and selling the data.
Despite these uncertainties, the relentless coercion exercised by governments and government-regulated utilities across the country has successfully overwhelmed resistance in all but a few places.
City Arrests Single Moms for Opposing Smart Meters
In Naperville, the city not only proceeded with its smart meter installation before holding public proceedings required by law, the city also went forward in the face of a pending federal lawsuit that sought an injunction against their doing exactly what they did.