Expert Panel Speaks on Technology Risks to Humanity

By Camilla Rees, Nov 5, 2019 | Original Businesswire Press Release here

  • Hosted at The Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, CA
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 12:00 pm 2:30 pm

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Commonwealth Club of California will host a program, “Humanity at a Crossroads: New Insights into Technology Risks for Humans and the Planet”, on Tuesday, December 3rd from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Check-in starts at 11:30 a.m.) The Expert Panel will cover the science on wireless technology risks, new biological and cognitive risks expected from close proximity to 4G/5G ‘small cell’ antennas, as well as the problem of technology overuse and addiction.

  • Tickets: $10 Members/$20 Non-Members/$8 Students.
  • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
  • Register: with the Commonwealth Club at https://tinyurl.com/yxmqc3fn or 415-597-6705.

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Against All Common Sense, FCC Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

By Karl Bode, Nov 5, 2019 | Original Motherboard article here.

40 years of US telecom history shows that mindless Telecom mergers kill jobs, worsen service, and raise prices. So why are we still doing this?

The FCC today finalized its approval of T-Mobile’s $26 billion dollar merger with Sprint, a megadeal that most objective data suggests will result in higher prices, fewer jobs, and even worse service from one of the most disliked industries in America.

In its finalized order confirming a 3-2 vote along partisan lines, the FCC insists that the deal will result in amazing benefits for American consumers, ranging from accelerated deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks, to “enhanced competition” in the wake of the deal.

FCC boss Ajit Pai said in a statement.

“It would bring the benefits of the next generation of wireless technology to American consumers and advance American leadership in 5G. It would help millions in rural America benefit from high-speed 5G mobile broadband service . . . and it would promote competition.”

History and Pai’s fellow Commissioners tell a decidedly different story.

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ISPs Lied to Congress About Encrypted DNS

By Jon Brodkin, Nov 4, 2019 | Orgiginal Ars Technica article here.

A Firefox logo is seen outside Mozilla's office in San Francisco.

ISPs lobby against DNS encryption, but Mozilla tells Congress not to trust them as they just spread confusion

Mozilla is urging Congress to reject the broadband industry’s lobbying campaign against encrypted DNS in Firefox and Chrome.

The Internet providers’ fight against this privacy feature raises questions about how they use broadband customers’ Web-browsing data, Mozilla wrote in a letter sent today to the chairs and ranking members of three House of Representatives committees. Mozilla also said that Internet providers have been giving inaccurate information to lawmakers and urged Congress to "publicly probe current ISP data collection and use policies."

DNS over HTTPS helps keep eavesdroppers from seeing what DNS lookups your browser is making. This can make it more difficult for ISPs or other third parties to monitor what websites you visit.

"Unsurprisingly, our work on DoH [DNS over HTTPS] has prompted a campaign to forestall these privacy and security protections, as demonstrated by the recent letter to Congress from major telecommunications associations. That letter contained a number of factual inaccuracies," Mozilla Senior Director of Trust and Security Marshall Erwin wrote.

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NLC, Local Allies Oppose Wireless Petitions Before FCC

By Angelina Panettieri Nov 4, 2019 | Original article here.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is continuing the fight against Telecom preemption. We have joined a number of local governments and municipal organizations throughout the country in opposition to recent proposals from the Wireless Industry Association (WIA) and the Communications Technology Industry Association (CTIA). These proposals aim to further limit local oversight of wireless towers and pole attachments.

The FCC requested feedback on the proposals and whether they should expand the scope of Section 6409 of the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which covers existing federal regulations preempting local governance of wireless towers. If enacted, the proposals from WIA and CTIA would substantially limit current authority local governments have to manage changes made to large wireless towers in their communities, as well as further limiting the control pole owners, such as local governments or utilities, have over pole attachments.

The petitions requested of the FCC seek to expand coverage of the 2014 FCC rules to preempt local government oversight of modifications to existing wireless facilities (known as Section 6409 eligible facilities requests). Among the changes requested were:

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FCC plans Huawei and ZTE Ban

By Jon Brodkin Oct 29, 2019 | Original Ars Technica here.


An outdoor sign with Huawei's company name and logo.

This may require ripping out existing network gear; ban on Chinese vendors would affect recipients of Universal Service funding.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is moving ahead with a ban on equipment from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE in US-funded telecom projects. The FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal at its November 19 meeting, the commission said in an announcement and fact sheet released yesterday.

Pai’s proposal "would bar communications companies from using any support they receive from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat, like the Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp.," the announcement said.

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Comcast Fights Google Encrypted-DNS Plan

By Jon Brodkin Oct 25, 2019 | Original Ars Technica article here.


The back of a Comcast van driving along a street in Sunnyvale, California.

Comcast makes privacy pledge as it fights Google plan to encrypt DNS in Chrome and Android Mobile Operating System.

Comcast has gone on the record to say that it does not track its broadband users’ Web browsing histories, even though the company is lobbying against a Google plan that could make it harder for ISPs to track their users.

Comcast yesterday released a statement titled "The Facts about Privacy with Comcast’s Xfinity Internet Service." Comcast said:

Where you go on the Internet is your business, not ours. As your Internet Service Provider, we do not track the websites you visit or apps you use through your broadband connection. Because we don’t track that information, we don’t use it to build a profile about you and we have never sold that information to anyone.

Comcast further said that it does not and has never sold "information that identifies who you are to anyone," and the company claims it has never sold location data gathered from Comcast’s mobile service. Comcast also said it deletes DNS queries generated by its Internet customers every 24 hours "except in very specific cases where we need to research a security or network performance issue, protect against security threats, or comply with a valid legal request."

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We Have No Reason to Believe That Densified 4G + 5G Is Safe

By Joel M. Moskowitz on Oct 17, 2019 | Original Scientific American Opinion piece here.

Densified 4G + 5G technology is coming, but contrary to what some people say, there could be health risks.

The telecommunications industry and their experts have accused many scientists who have researched the negative health consequences of cell phone radiation of "fear mongering" over the advent of wireless industry’s push for Densified 4G + 5G. Since much of our research is publicly-funded, we believe it is our ethical responsibility to inform the public about what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us about the health risks from pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposures.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced through a press release that the commission will soon reaffirm the RF-EMR exposure limits that the FCC adopted in the late 1990s. These limits are based upon a behavioral change in rats exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to acute RF-EMR exposures.

The FCC adopted these RF-EMR exposure limits based largely on research from the 1980s. Since then, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or negative health consequences from RF-EMR exposures at intensities are too low to cause heating of tissue.

Citing this large body of research, more than 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) [and RF-EMR exposures] signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for stronger exposure limits. The appeal makes the following assertions:

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

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Planetary Electromagnetic Pollution: It is Time to Assess its Impact

By Priyanka Bandara and David O Carpenter | Original Lancet here.

As the Planetary Health Alliance moves forward after a productive second annual meeting, a discussion on the rapid global proliferation of artificial electromagnetic fields would now be apt. The most notable is the blanket of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation, largely microwave radiation generated for wireless communication and surveillance technologies, as mounting scientific evidence suggests that prolonged exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation has serious biological and health effects.

However, public exposure regulations in most countries continue to be based on the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection1 and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.2 which were established in the 1990’s on the belief that only acute thermal effects are hazardous. Prevention of tissue heating by radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation is now proven to be ineffective in preventing biochemical and physiological interference. For example, acute non-thermal exposure has been shown to alter human brain metabolism by NIH scientists,3 electrical activity in the brain,4 and systemic immune responses.5

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Palm Drive Hospital District Residents Claim Tower Outputs Too Much Power

By Andrew Pardiac, Managing Editor, Andrew@sonomawest.com Oct 16, 2019 | Original Sonoma West Times article here.

View of AT&T/Crown Castle Cell Tower from the hospital parking lot.


cell.jpg

Cell tower near Petaluma Avenue Homes has been the focus of health allegations from residents.

Cell Tower Controversy

The Palm Drive Health Care District heard from a slew of residents of Petaluma Avenue Homes, a complex located adjacent to Sonoma Specialty Hospital (SSH). Their grievance: electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) coming from a cell tower owned by Crown Castle and used by AT&T, on the hospital’s campus.

The residents lined up during public comment on non-agenda items at the district’s Oct. 7 meeting at SSH.

Those who spoke wanted the tower either removed or raised. Raising the tower was a suggestion to keep the second- and third-story homes out of the direct line of EMF radiation as they claimed it currently is.

The residents said the tower was responsible for a number of health issues in the complex, from child depression to a 16-pound tumor associated with ovarian cancer.

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Washington State Enforces Net Neutrality After FCC Court Loss

By Jon Brodkin, Oct 15, 2019 | Original Ars Technica article here.

FCC failure to preempt States keeps the Washington State net neutrality law on the books.

   
The outside of the Washington State Capitol building.

Although the Federal Communications Commission abandoned its regulation of net neutrality, it wouldn’t be accurate to say there are no net neutrality laws anywhere in the United States.

No one enforces net neutrality in Washington, DC, but on the opposite coast, the state of Washington imposed a net neutrality law in June 2018 that remains in effect today. The Washington State law prohibits home and mobile Internet providers from blocking or throttling lawful Internet traffic and from charging online services for prioritization.

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