2016-12-30 Russia hacked into Vermont electrical grid

1)    On Friday, it was discovered that Russians had hacked into Vermont’s electrical grid.

grizzly-steppe

“A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.

While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nation’s electrical grid. And it raises fears in the U.S. government that Russian government hackers are actively trying to penetrate the grid to carry out potential attacks.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/russian-hackers-penetrated-us-electricity-grid-through-a-utility-in-vermont/ar-BBxJYCe?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout

2)    Austrians have major concerns about smeters and various agencies have identified problems ranging from safety (remote disconnect switches) to costs (greater than benefits) to privacy (vulnerable).  Below, in Letters, is a translation (provided by a member) of portions of the recent articles at this link. In one article, there is mention of a Ferrari analog meter that does not need recertification for 25 years. I wonder if this is because the rules in Austria re re-certification are different and not because of the specific meter. Many/most of our analogs that were removed were still functioning perfectly after many years. In fact, it would be interesting to get statistics on the number of analogs that failed in BC and in Canada before 25 years.

http://www.solidarwerkstatt.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=56&Itemid=77

3)    More examples of $$meters (whether to measure electricity or water) being inaccurate.

London, UK – multiple meters for one house alone.
http://www.publishaletter.com/readletter.jsp?plid=69499

In BC, we’ve been told that hundreds of people have asked for their smeters to be checked yet when BC Hydro removes them and takes them to a pristine lab, not one has been found to be faulty.

bc-hydro

Could this be due to these possibilities:
1) The smeter is a computer connected and working only when it is connected to the base. When the smeter is pulled, does the computer reset, self-correcting back to the factory settings, like when a TV reboots?
2) The pristine lab has no other wireless devices in it (whereas the home setting is no doubt exposed to all sorts of RF, even from cell transmitters, etc.) and where the conditions can be precisely controlled.  Could these contribute to the meter running fast?  How long does the test take and under what conditions? I have been told by an Electrical Engineer that the testing should be done over several hours at the home and not in a lab where conditions can be controlled.

Georgia, USA — More or less at random, thousands of DeKalb’s water customers have been getting bills off the chart. Suddenly, the inner workings of the Department of Watershed Management are thrilling! A public meeting about water billing filled a county auditorium, standing room only, and that room never gets filled….
The county installed “smart” meters. Some of those meters have a “water inclusion” problem. Basically, DeKalb bought water meters that weren’t waterproof.
http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/225768091-story

4)    Worcester, Massachusetts is just finishing a 2 year pilot project re. $meters and citizens are raising the health issue as a major reason for considering ending it.

The rapidly rising body of evidence showing health risks of low energy radio frequency radiation is motivating an increasing number of scientists, physicians, citizens and officials to advocate taking precautions now. If we fail to at least examine the evidence and continue to coast on weak, outdated questionably motivated positions, according to science not beholden to industry interests, the status of human health and the environment faces an unparalleled challenge.

Worcester citizens, along with many thousands globally, are bringing the information to the attention of our local populations and public officials charged with protecting our interests. It’s heartening to see some have taken the time and made the effort to listen. What harm does it do to look at the evidence? What harm does it do to pursue the Precautionary Principle? Are we not to take our lessons from history? Are we willing to live with the consequences of not paying attention when serious calls to action are being sounded by scientists and engineers far more knowledgeable than we— those like the EMF Scientists, to name but a couple hundred experts? What will history show about damage from wireless we’re experiencing today when the “juries come in with their verdicts” tomorrow?

http://worcestermag.com/2016/12/29/turn-rf-radiation-risks-taking-cue-history/48466

5)    PECO utility in Pennsylvania is petitioning to introduce a program where electricity would be “prepaid”, where people deposit money and when it runs out, the power shuts off, even in the winter.

peco-smart-meters 

In its petition to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or PUC, PECO says a customers with a zero or negative balance would be given a five-day grace period, along with daily reminders to load more funds. Once that grade period is over, PECO would remotely disconnect service. Customers who opt into the pilot program would sign an agreement that failure to re-load credits to their accounts “constitutes a request for discontinuence,” the petition says. According to Smore, that includes disconnections during winter months.

Patrick Cicero with the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project argues that policy would create a second class of customers: the poor. He compares this situation to low-income people using prepaid cell phones.

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/philadelphia/100044-pecos-proposal-for-prepaid-energy-bills-gets-pushback

Letters:

austria

Article re. Austrian concerns re. smeter program.

Engineer – Erich Schwaezler, Land Council:

“1% saving is possible, over the entire population.”

“There will be an increased cost for the consumer.”

“Considerable automatic savings, just through installations of SM is not possible.”

“Data protection information is not clear.”

“Because of high investment cost, considerable construction of infrastructure, and increased operating cost, the business aspect of SM, is not feasible.”

Außerdem stellt die verpflichtende Funktionalität der eingebauten „Breaker-Funktion“ (Fernabschaltbarkeit der Stromversorgung) nach Einschätzung der Illwerke vkw eine nicht zu unterschätzende Verwundbarkeit des gesamten Stromversorgungssystem im Hinblick auf Hackerangriffe dar.

The functionality of the built in “breaker function” (remote switch of energy supply) is according to Illwerk vkw, a not to understimatible vulnerability of the entire energy system (grid) in regards to hackers.”

Seitens des Landes Vorarlberg wurde bereits aus mehreren Anlässen kritisch zur Smart Meter-Einführung Stellung genommen.

“Therefore, the Land Vorarlberg, on numerous occasions, was critical of a SM introduction.”

Laut Information der Illwerke vkw hat die Branche der Stromversorger immer wieder auf die mit der Einführung verbundenen erheblichen Zusatzkosten hingewiesen.

“According to information of the Illwerke vkw, has the branch of energy suppliers again and again, pointed to the considerable extra costs.”

MLA Dieter Egger:

Wir können die Sorgen und Bedenken der politischen Vertreter/Innen in Vorarlberg vollinhaltlich nachvollziehen. Nicht nur in wirtschaftlicher Hinsicht, auch in betriebswirtschaftlicher Hinsicht. Aber ebenso in unserer hauswirtschaftlichen Hinsicht und in Bezug auf Datenschutz. Und in rechtlicher Hinsicht laut § 83 EIWOG ist es gelinde gesagt eine Frechheit, wie mit unbescholtenen BürgerInnen und ihrem im Gesetz verbrieften Recht umgegangen wird.

We fully understand the worries and concerns of the political representatives in Vorarlberg completely.  Not only in view of economics, but also in home economics and in regards to data protection.  And in view of paragraph 83 EIWOG, to express  it mildly, an insolence, how law abiding citizens and their enshrined rights are dealt with.

Am besten wäre freilich, wir nehmen die Politik in die Pflicht, auch in Österreich das zu tun, was die Niederlande – nach heftigen Protesten der Bevölkerung gegen den Smart Meter – getan haben: Nicht-Umsetzung der EU-Richtlinie zur Implementierung der Smart Meter!

Rudolf Schober
(16.12.2016)

Rudolf Schober:

Of course it would be best, we force government politics, to do in Austria, as was done in the Netherlands – after severe protests by the population against SM – not the EU-Guideline of the implementation of SM.

Text of site:

In Ihrem Haushalt bleibt dem Überwachungsstromzähler Smart Meter nichts verborgen. Auch Ihre Brieftasche und die Sicherheit der Stromnetze werden betroffen sein. Es gibt aber auch ein gesetzliches Opting Out. Sie müssen keinen Smart Meter dulden. Auch darüber wollen wir in dieser Sendung berichten.

Nothing is kept from the surveillance meter.  Also your wallet and the security of the energy grid will be affected. There is an opting out by law. You do not have to allow a SM.

Widerstand lohnt sich

Vor kurzem teilten die Wiener Netze GmbH einem Herrn in Wien mit, dass das vorgeschriebene Eichdatum seines Ferraris-Stromzählers erreicht sei und dieser daher durch einen Smart Meter ersetzt werde. In wenigen Tage werde dieser Einbau geschehen. Also wieder einmal: Keine Information über das verbriefte Recht auf Opting out. Doch dieser Kunde ließ sich das nicht gefallen und forderte nach Rücksprache mit der Solidarwerkstatt in einem Brief, den er auch an den Bürgermeister und die Wiener Stadtpolitik schickte, sein Recht auf Opting out und die Beibehaltung des Ferraris-Strommessgeräts. Er werde den Einbau des Smart Meters unter keinen Umständen zulassen. Und siehe da: Wenige Tage später erschien ein Mitarbeiter der Wiener Netze GmbH und baute einen neuen Ferrarisstromzähler ein, geeicht auf weitere 25 Jahre.

Wir können unser Recht auf Opting out durchsetzen: Ferraris bleibt!

Resistance pays off

Recently, the Vienna Nets Gmbh told a gentleman in Vienna that the meter has reached the expiry date and will be replaced with a SM in a few days.  Once again: no information of the legal right of opting out.

But this customer would not stand for it and demanded, after speaking with the Solidaritaet Workshop, in a letter sent to the Mayor and Vienna Council about his legal right to opt out and to keep the Ferraris electrical meter.

He would under no circumstance allow a SM.  And look at this: A few days later, installers of the Vienna Nets GmbH showed up and installed a new Ferraris electrical meter, normed for another 25 years!

We can insist on our right of opting out:  Ferraris stays!

 

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“The truth is inconvertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it. But there it is”
~ Winston Churchill