Stealth Rollout of SmartMeters and Grassroots Backlash

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

“Smart meters” are new electric metering devices being installed on residential dwellings and businesses by utility companies throughout the United States. A Smart Meter operates on a mesh network, issuing frequent bursts of high frequency radiation several times more powerful than a cellular telephone to communicate with other Smart Meters and transmit information on a household’s electrical usage back to the utility company in real time. Citizens across the US have expressed two specific sets of concerns regarding Smart Meters. The first involves the systematic and ongoing collection of detailed information on electrical usage that constitutes an invasion of privacy and contributes to a data bank of household activity that can be sold to third parties and used for potential law enforcement. The second is the negative health effects of sustained exposure to radiation that may contribute to the development of cancer, insomnia, and many other health-related problems. In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer officially classified electromagnetic fields from non-ionizing, non-thermal radiation—the type of radiation used in Smart Meter technology—as a Class 2 B Carcinogen. Despite municipalities and counties throughout the country banning Smart Meters, utilities on the whole remain determined to install the new technology. Activism resisting the installation of Smart Meters has developed into an international movement, with citizens in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia mobilizing, in addition to those across the US.



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Student Researcher: Stephen Cutolo, Florida Atlantic University
Faculty Advisor: James F. Tracy, Florida Atlantic University