Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group Appeals to Higher Court on Fourth Amendment Violations

Court Gavelby K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

The Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group (NSMA) has filed its legal brief [1] with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after a Federal District Court entered a final judgment against NSMA late last year.

Key Points Made in Appeal Brief

  • As a matter of law, NSMA members have a reasonable expectation of privacy for data acquired from inside their homes.  The Kyllo case, as precedent, held that because of the special sanctity of the home, residents automatically have a reasonable expectation of privacy in all material and data inside their home.  Yet the district court ignored this fundamental Fourth Amendment principle.
  • Utility “smart meters” collect detailed electricity usage data that can reveal intimate information about residents’ personal lives within their homes.
  • Warrantless collection of smart meter data (beyond that necessary for the basic delivery of electric service) without consent is an illegal “search,” regardless of whether or how that data is later analyzed or used.

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We’re Being “Hunted” by Smart Meters and the Internet of Things

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

were-being-hunted-by-smart-meters-and-iotBecause of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the deployment of devices like utility smart meters we are quickly losing our personal freedom and liberty and further heading toward Orwell’s 1984 [1].  For those aware of what is happening, we realize that “We’re being hunted,” and that, “We feel like prey.”  This process must be reversed if we are to regain our rights as a free people.

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Smart Meter Deployments Result in a Cyber Attack Surface of “Unprecedented Scale”

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

cyber-attack-surface-of-unprecedented-scaleThe Internet of Things (IoT) involves an Internet which will evolve from connecting just machines and people towards connecting “smart” objects and things.  The electric utility industry is currently developing an IoT-based smart grid (SG).  This SG is envisioned as the largest installation of an IoT network for our future world with literally billions of smart objects and things, such as smart meters, smart appliances, and other sensors [1].

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Smart Meters Force People to Reduce Consumption and Pay Higher Prices

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

smart-meters-raise-bills-and-force-reduced-consumptionI have previously written a number of articles demonstrating how smart meters are not economically justifiable for broad-based deployments and that the vast majority of consumers will suffer a financial “net loss” with smart meters. [1]  In particular, we have seen how families are punished by ‘Smart’ Meters and Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. [2]

A recent reminder of these facts came in the form of a November 2016 radio program from Australia, “Electric Shocks.” [3]  Continue reading

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Naperville Group Appeals Smart Meter Ruling to Higher Court

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Court GavelIn the smart meter-related case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) v. City of Naperville, a Federal district court entered a final judgment against NSMA and in favor of the City on September 26, 2016. (Case 1:11-cv-09299)

As outlined in a “docketing statement” filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the NSMA group has filed a notice of appeal as documented below:

“As set forth in its notice of appeal, NSMA seeks review of the district court’s order granting the City summary judgment, upon which the court entered final judgment in the City’s favor, as well as all opinions and orders antecedent and ancillary thereto.”

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Health Risks Associated with Smart Meter Wireless Emissions

bank-of-smart-meters-croppedby K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Article Key Points

  • There is a “reasonable basis” for concern regarding health risks associated with smart meter wireless emissions.
  • It is “unreasonable” to involuntarily and chronically expose consumers to the electromagnetic energy emitted by smart meters.

Over the past three years at this website I have detailed a number of concerns related to utility smart meters including financial costs, privacy invasions, cyber threats, and the increased risk of fires as compared with analog meters.  Another concern relates to health risks associated with wireless emissions.

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The Hype Surrounding 5G and Connecting “Everything” Wirelessly

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

the-hype-surrounding-5gThere has recently been a lot of hype surrounding the planned deployment of 5G wireless technologies in the United States and elsewhere.  5G is considered the next major phase of mobile telecommunications and is expected to be much faster than the currently deployed 3G and 4G communications networks [1].  More importantly, however, 5G is expected to extend far beyond people just communicating on their smartphones; it is planned to connect literally “everything” as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

I have created a short video that highlights portions of a CTIA 5G Leadership Forum from February 2016 [2].  Continue reading

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Extension Likely Coming Soon for ComEd Customers ‘Deferring’ Smart Meter Installations

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

comed-ge-smart-meter-vs-analogWe have previously communicated through this website on how Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) customers are being mistreated by not having a permanent smart meter refusal option even though downstate Illinois customers of Ameren do have such an option [1].

Recently, a number of Chicago suburbs, including Burr Ridge, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff, have formally requested that ComEd take action to work with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and the Illinois General Assembly to amend its rules to allow for property owners to permanently refuse or “opt out” of its smart meter program [2].

In response to the increased public opposition to ComEd smart meters and its smart meter deferral program, ComEd completed a new filing with the ICC on August 29, 2016 [3].   This filing requests that the current sunset date for the smart meter deferral program be extended from December 31, 2019, to June 30, 2022Continue reading

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Protecting Ourselves and our Families from Radiofrequency Radiation

RF RadiationCurrent guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and similar organizations are outdated and do not adequately protect us from the hazards of radiofrequency radiation (RF).  FCC exposure guidelines only protect against thermal damage despite overwhelming evidence that so-called non-thermal effects also occur.  These non-thermal effects are simply unregulated.

To better understand why the FCC does not seem to care about protecting the public from all known RF hazards, it is recommended to read the document published last year, “Captured Agency:  How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates.” [1]

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How the Smart Meter ‘Remote Disconnect’ Can Cause Fires

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Smart Meter Fireball and RDI have previously stated that “the most dangerous ‘feature’ included in the majority of smart meters deployed today is the remote disconnect option.” [1] [2]  At the time, I was primarily referencing the increased risk that the smart meter remote disconnect (RD) poses to the electric grid from a cyber threat perspective.  In addition, however, the RD is one of the features of a smart meter (as compared to other types of electric usage meters) that increases the risk of catastrophic meter failures and resulting building fires.

To help illustrate how smart meter RDs can result in fires, this article will highlight the results of forensic investigations by EFI Global, Inc. (EFI) for a failed Sensus brand smart meter reported as involved in a fire in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2015 [3].  There were actually two separate evaluations of the failed smart meter, first a non-destructive review in July 2015 and a destructive inspection conducted in April 2016.

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Smart Meters Should Do No Harm

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Smart Meters Should Do No Harm RevI discovered a new article [1] written by Nick Hunn of WiFore Consulting Ltd. regarding the status of the smart meter program in the UK, dated August 1, 2016.  In May 2016, Mr. Hunn provided testimony before the UK House of Commons’ Science and Technology’s “evidence check” as was highlighted at this website in a separate article [2].  In particular, Mr. Hunn has been critical of the smart meter’s remote disconnect capability from a cyber security perspective, stating in his testimony that:

“If somebody could hack into that or just by mistake turn off very large numbers of meters, that sudden shock of taking them off the grid, and even worse be able to turn back on at the same time, would cause significant damage.  And to me that’s an unnecessary risk.”

Hunn has a unique and colorful writing style when making his points.  His latest article reiterates concern about inherent security flaws for smart meters and that there could soon be an unraveling of the UK smart meter program due to cost overruns and fewer projected benefits.

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Utilities Intimidate and Browbeat Customers on Smart Meter Refusals

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions

Intimidate Customer on Smart Meter RefusalsGovernments and corporations are forcing utility ‘smart’ meters onto consumers’ homes saying that they give consumers control over their own energy bills.  This propaganda-like message is quite misleading and more importantly completely ignores the tremendous financial, health, safety, privacy, and cybersecurity risks that smart meters impose on consumers and society [1].

Fully informed and attentive consumers recognize the numerous risks associated with smart grid technology and may attempt to refuse smart meter installations or exercise rights to “opt-out.”

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