- Katie Singer, author of “Electronic Silent Spring” has a monthly newsletter to which you may wish to subscribe. Her current newsletter addresses cell towers, and provides, among other things, instances where cell towers that have crashed or caught fire.
- Earlier this week President Obama spoke about the benefits of the smart meter program. The resisters in the US, needless to say, are not in agreement. One has written an excellent rebuttal:
- One of our members is capturing information on Collectors, including locations. If you find one that isn’t on this list, please send me the address – or the address of a home/business nearest to the collector. There will be ones for FortisBC, too. As you know, Hydro refuses to give us locations for “security” reasons ! Here are links to the ones found so far:
- One member suggested that my comment about the possibility of water being restricted here in order to sell to California is not appropriate given the current provincial laws which would preclude that being done, especially during a drought. This is true, but my thought was that down the road, in years to come, things could change. As far as I know, there is nothing being planned – I was just hypothesizing …..
- An engineer in Rhode Island says that wireless is not sustainable.
- In May, 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC) classified radiation emitted by wireless devices as a 2b carcinogen. This classification includes many things, including lead, HIV, DDT, and an Asiatic pickling agent and coffee (too much coffee has been linked to cancer). Of course the industry tries to demean the significance of this classification. Here is the appropriate response to such misrepresentation by Cindy Sage, one of the people who organized and published the BioInitiative Report.
From: Sage Associates [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: August-31-11 6:15 AM
Subject: Re: Definite proofs of safety = an IARC Group 4 listing = Not a Carcinogen
There is, of course, an established and useful definition of safety. It is the WHO IARC’s own invention.
If a toxicant or toxic exposure is studied by IARC for potential carcinogenicity, and classified as a 4 – Not A Carcinogen – this is the closest definition to ‘studied and safe’ that we have. Studied. Safe. Decided.
If the IARC listing is anything between 2A or 2B listing, it is by definition, to some degree, ‘not-safe’ (i.e., a listed probable or possible carcinogen), and if it is a 1A listing, it is a known carcinogen.
This seems so obvious an answer to ‘proof of safety’ arguments. And, provides a legitimate answer for those who dismiss the scientific evidence because “you can’t prove the null or negative”. Of course you can – IARC does it.
Emails to and from a member and the Officer of the Privacy Commissioner. Please read from the bottom up.
It looks like your office goes extra mile securing its employees’ names (not providing them) – there is no way to determine if your reply is a template auto-reply, or there was a real person behind. True, all looks quite quite secure.
Can you give me your opinion of how you see that current wireless meters and “smart” grid as a whole make almost an instant reading of consumed electricity, thus making it easily possible to use analytic programs to track behavioural activity of the customers providing very accurate identification of what was used, when, for how long? Together with “smart” protocol – ZigBee enabled appliances they can get to the specifics of even what TV channels were preferred, and what movies were watched. BC Hydro may not be directly interested in this data, yet they may sell the data with no disclosure thus compromising privacy indirectly.
Just as an example – Ohio Power Utility while using way more advanced and at the same time cheaper wired meters do one reading per hour. They disclose this on their web site. Itron meters transmit data almost every second, or in a few seconds interval, and this reading frequency can be easily controlled remotely, thus making SM a perfect surveillance device. BC Hydro acquired the role which is not assigned, acceptable or required to their functional profile.
BC Hydro crossed the line where your consultations with them may not be adequate, or even relevant to the scope of issues of compromised privacy. Why they were let doing that initially? Your office and BC Hydro are there same provincial government bodies, does that bound you to stay into a “neutral” zone for this particular case as your office might had received the same imperatives from the government executives to leave the case alone, and not to interfere under any circumstances? That happened to BCUC, and looking at your level of interest with this issues the one may think you got the same order to keep all silent.
Do you see any issue with SG at all?
The U.S. Department of Energy warned [PDF] that smart grid technology can provide a highly detailed household profile of energy consumption and said policies are needed to restrict utilities from sharing consumer usage data with third parties. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) outlined Potential Privacy Impacts that Arise from the Collection and Use of Smart Grid Data [PDF].
From reading it, a person might wonder if smart meters will be real-time surveillance spies. It suggests that insurance companies might use the smart meter data to determine health care premiums, such as if there is high usage at night which would indicate sleep behavior problems. Besides looking to bust pot farmers, law enforcement might use the data as “real-time surveillance to determine if residents are present and current activities inside the home.” The press might wish to see the smart meter data of celebrities. Criminals may want to see the data to determine the best time for a burglary and what high dollar appliances you might have to steal. Marketers might want the data for profiling and targeting advertisements. Creditors might want the data to determine if behavior indicates creditworthiness.
We know that smart meters can be real-time surveillance spies. At the last Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, researchers presented “Smart Hacking For Privacy” and demonstrated that detailed smart meter data can show what TV shows you watch, scan for copyright-protected DVD movies you watch, and other privacy intrusive details. Yet it took an amateur hacker only two days to hack a home smart meter and fake the readings — which could result in a utility bill showing absolutely no power consumption at all.
CIA wants to spy on you through your appliances
Smart appliances and devices connected to the web, the coming Internet of Things, will be like Americans planted bugging devices in their homes. The CIA is looking …
View on www.networkworld.com
Thank you for your time,
From: Info-oipc <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, 24 August 2015, 12:37
Subject: RE: BC Hydro current privacy issues of “Smart” Grid implementation
Thank you for your email. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner email info box was set up to provide general information about BC’s access and privacy laws. The role of the Commissioner and this office is to ensure that the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) are achieved by monitoring and enforcing those laws. FIPPA governs how public bodies may collect, use or disclose personal information. PIPA does the same for private organizations in BC. We will try to provide you with enough information to answer your questions or suggest how to find your answers, however, this office does not provide legal advice and does not make decisions about compliance without a full investigation.
We do remain in consultation with BC Hydro on the implementation of smart meters from a privacy and security perspective, which is in keeping with our mandate to oversee the privacy practices of public bodies and private organizations under FIPPA and PIPA. However, BC Hydro is ultimately responsible for ensuring its ongoing compliance with FIPPA.
Here is a link to further information about the process to make a privacy complaint: https://www.oipc.bc.ca/for-the-public/how-do-i-make-a-complaint/
Please feel free to contact our office again if you have any further questions.
|Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.
4th Floor, 947 Fort Street, Victoria BC V8V 3K3
tel. 250-387-5629 | fax 250-387-1696
Follow us on Twitter | firstname.lastname@example.org
This document is for general information only. It is not intended to be, and cannot be relied upon as, legal advice or other advice. Its contents do not fetter, bind, or constitute a decision or finding by, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) with respect to any matter, including any complaint, investigation or other matter, respecting which the OIPC will keep an open mind. Responsibility for compliance with the law (and any applicable professional or trade standards or requirements) remains with each organization and public body.
Sent: August-23-15 10:55 PM
Subject: Re: BC Hydro current privacy issues of “Smart” Grid implementation
Good day Commissioner Denham,
Many people in BC believe that there was no true duty of care exercised during implementation of BC Hydro so called Smart Grid (SG) with arbitrarily chosen least secure and least advanced technology compared to wired option which did exist at the time when the decision was not yet legislated and secured with Clean Energy Act.
Would BC Hydro use available at that time wired meters solution(they denied they had that option at that time which was not true) the most of currently known issues would not challenge SG at all.
May I ask you to spend some time to learn quite critical information related to the overlooked privacy issues of SG due to security vulnerability of the new grid used in BC? Please pay attention on the final conclusion of the forum experts pointing to the lack of sound rational of SG continuing deployment. The data encryption is a fraction of what needs to be done and has no adequate sufficient protection of private end user data.
Sound rational from many world leading utility companies prompted that wired smart meters provide the same scope of interests yet guarantee no compromise to either privacy, or security compared to wireless meters.
Now BC Hydro has, and will have to allocate a big portion of its budget (covered by BC tax payers) for their extra security team, and contractors trying to cope big spectrum of wireless technology issues.
There was meeting of BlackHat USA 2015 in Las Vegas – International forum of security experts.
BC Hydro had a presentation there.
Here is a quote from the presentation of what they concluded with regards to so called smart meters.
“The presenter from BC Hydro acknowledged that the consequences from deploying smart meters can be dire, but yet he apparently rationalizes moving forward for what would have to be considered unknown reasons; there is just a mindset that they can’t imagine a situation where they would go back to what the presenter referred to as “flywheel meters.” Somehow, they just expect to avert disaster by staying one step ahead of the hackers even though it is a “crowded space” for both the “good guys” and “bad guys.”
In conclusion, although smart meter deployments continue, there are more than ample reasons to halt deployments, with just some of the serious privacy and security threats outlined in this article. Utility executives, regulators, and others just need the courage to take the reasonable and prudent actions to avert disaster.”
by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions
This past week there was a meeting of BlackHat USA 2015 in Las Vegas, where InfoSec professionals met. As part of a blog artic…
View on smartgridawareness.org
Ohio Power business case may be chosen as a one of the successful templates to copy their expertise. Ohio Power geographically has the same challenges as BC Hydro, and they did their market analysis just at the same time as BC Hydro. For many reasons they concluded that wired technology surpasses wireless for AMI implementation. Regretfully BC Hydro either overlooked the issue, or it was a conflict of interests which led them to make arbitrarily wrong decision ignoring known issues.
I believe that you, BC Privacy Commissioner, have enough power, and weight to influence minister Bennett, BC Hydro executives to start planning a gradual upgrade their wireless meters, and the grid as a whole replacing them with wired solution. No doubts once they make this step it would be the only right direction considering all the aspects of the complexity of the SG. There is no banking system in the world which uses, or considers using wireless communication for banking transactions, and people in BC deserve the same level of protection when it comes to privacy.
Thank you for your time,
Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble
The cost of wireless convenience: EHS, infertility, cancer.