NO SMART METERS IN SEATTLE (OR ANYWHERE ELSE!) TALKING POINTS (30)
“Smart Meters” violate the law and cause endangerment to residents by the following factors:
Privacy and Security Issues
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 by those whose activities were recorded.
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, corrupt 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. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain “Smart Meter” data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, and physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.
8. There has no disclosure of the particular recording and transmission capabilities of the smart meter, or the extent of the data that will be recorded, stored and shared, or the purposes to which the data will and will not be put.
9. Smart meters can be hacked and will be hacked. The small CPU in these meters cannot protect itself as good as a home PC can, and home PCs are well known for being compromised. By deploying these in the millions with the same exact software and hardware they become a huge target and will endanger the community if an attacker can switch the power on and off from remote in mass. This makes these Smart Meters dangerous and a liability to the ratepayers who would have to ultimately pay for any damage.
10. Smart meters are not protected from EMP attacks, large EMPs or localized EMPs as simple as a kid with a battery and a coil (Electro Magnetic Pulse).
11. Disabling the receiver will not prevent other forms of “hacks”. For example a malicious attacker could confuse the internal CPU, reset it, change random memory locations, change the KWH reading, force a power disconnect, or completely disable a smart meter with a simple coil of wire and a small battery. This can’t happen with a mechanical meter. It is well known that a wide EMP can take out car computers; smart meters will now make that possible on the city wide electric infrastructure.
12. A thief, burglar or corporate government agency could the use same EMP or hacking methods to turn off the house power even if the electrical switch box is locked.
14. Turning off the RF transmitter is irrelevant due to the well-known “Tempest” attacks, the RF wireless transmitter is not needed in these attacks and disabling the RF transmitter completely negates any advantages of these Smart Meters or their costs anyway.
15. Data about an occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which can be accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data by those whose activities were recorded. This can be done by cyber-attacks or disgruntled employees and has been done before where the attacked company may not know of the intrusion for months.
16. The power company has not adequately disclosed the encryption or security methods to the public. The source code to any data encryption must be open source and peer reviewed by the security community at large in order to be as secure as is currently possible. Security by obscurity is no security at all.
17. Previously it was “fair” that the power company had to go to a lot of trouble to adjust the mechanical meter to read more than it should since they had to come out to do it manually. People can’t modify the mechanical meter because it’s locked up; the power company probably won’t do it because it’s just too costly, and so that was “fair enough”. Now with the smart meters they can change it anytime they wish by remote and with little risk that the customer will know. Why should customers trust a company that only has profits and stock price in mind? With possible modification of computer code or measurement values/ratios from remote, who will overlook them? Who will ever know? This is an unfair practice and a liability to the ratepayers.
Legal and Insurance Issues
18. The power company has misled the public and the Public Utility Commission by leaving out publicly available facts and information regarding smart meters. There are many downsides to this new technology that the power company has not presented to the general public or the Public Utility Commission. Information is slanted and does not address the negative issues fully.
19. Smart meter installation is not mandatory. The Public Utilities Commission only gave permission to install the meters. There is no forced mandate. The PUC has no such delegated authority from the people to make a forced mandate. If they did make a forced mandate, it’s clearly null and void on its face.
The US Energy Policy Act of 2005 really only covers federal areas within the limited jurisdiction of the CONSTITUTIONALLY LIMITED United States Government, even if it did apply, it also only mandates that a power company “offer” smart meters to the public, upon customer request. Any suggestion by the power company to customers that smart meters are mandatory is a false statement, fraudulent, and false commercial speech which is punishable by law and also opens the power company to liability via lawsuit.
20. The power company has no delegated authority from the people to install a security- risking, privacy-invading, health-threatening, hackable, unfairly billed, wide power grid device on anyone’s property. This is especially so when there is probable conflict of interest in regard to the corporate government in question having stock market investments in utility corporations and smart grid equipment manufacturers, as revealed by unaggregated government comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs), which the City of Seattle corporation has thus far refused to provide.
Energy Conservation/Pricing/Health and Safety Issues
21. Smart meters make it harder for people to go “green” with solar panels or wind turbines using a low cost grid tie inverter. These digital meters by default are not programmed to “run backwards”, like the current mechanical meters do now. Public utility commissions (PUCs) publicly encourage the public to go “green”, as do utility corporation website and public disclosures. But PUCs then allow the utility corporations to charge an extra fee for “green projects”. Further, smart meters go against the PUC’s intent and the public interest by making it more difficult for people to install small solar or “green power” installations and thus gain KWH “credits” in power that they can use at a later time.
22. Contrary to corporate propaganda, smart meters do not decrease energy prices with decreased usage. Utility corporations often actually seek to increase their rates to cover the cost of these expensive digital devices.
23. It is also well known to electronic and computer engineers that a high voltage spike, such as a nearby lightning strike, or EMP can change memory bits in normal memory or EEPROM memory (Electronically Programmable Memory that is non-volatile) by adding extra electrons to the small memory cells. This can change internal smart meter settings like the KWH calibration data or other settings that may change the rate of power charged without the customer or power company ever knowing about it. And, as mentioned above, these digital meters, unlike mechanical analogue meters, can be surreptitiously manipulated to increase utility billing rates
24. Installation of a smart meter will lower property values due to all the abovestated issues and controversy. This could subject ALL the ratepayers to higher rates due to lawsuit claims for value lost. The power company has no delegated authority from the People to use its easement or install equipment in a way that will lower property values or make a property less desirable to a buyer.
25. The fact that the constant intense electromagnetic pulsations of smart meters degrades the molecular structure of buildings and can ignite fires will also certainly endanger the value of property, as well as its very existence and that of its occupants.
26. Electromagnetic and radio frequency energy contamination from smart meters exceeds allowable safe and healthful limits for domestic environments as determined by the EPA and other scientific programs.
27. These facts can also radically increase property and government insurance rates. As does the fact that these devices have not been tested for reliability, durability or public health implications, and will give any plaintiffs legal leverage in lawsuits against utility and government corporations, as is now happening throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
28. The intense electromagnetic pulsation of smart meters interferes with medical devices , including heart pacemakers and breathing devices, making them potentially deadly to those with serious health problems.
29. This constant intense electromagnetic pulsation also can cause serious health problems in all occupants of buildings sited with smart meters. There is now much documented evidence of this, including scientific research and legal evidence gleaned from those places where smart meter installation has been illegitimately enforced by private, for-profit government corporations.
30. Given that neither government or the utility corporations have any real lawful authority to mandate smart meters, the exorbitant smart meter opt-out fees that many utility corporations charge are tantamount to a Mafia protection racket, and should be prosecuted as such. This is especially so, since anyone who pays their opt-out fee is gaining no real protection, when all of their neighbors’ buildings are likely equipped with these dangerous devices and their ubiquitous WiFi radiation.
Any technology that has to be illegitimately mandated by government at any level for corporate profit — as is now the case at the federal level with such a bill recently being introduced into Congress — is obviously implementing a hidden agenda far more sinister than obscene corporate profits. For all of the above reasons, smart meters have been put on indefinite moratorium in the UK, and completely banned in Italy. They therefore also merit similar government action throughout America, including here in Washington State and in the city of Seattle.