Guest Post: Georgia Legislators Try to Put the Kibosh on Smart Meter Opt-Out Bill

By Terri Keller, StopSmartMetersGeorgia.org

The smart meter fight in Georgia was looking better than most states: Senate Bill 459, allowing customer opt-out, passed the state senate without much tussle, and a free opt-out was on the way. Now that bill, as it moves to the Georgia House of Representatives, is being killed, by one representative on a subcommittee. That representative, Ben Harbin, has already established himself as a friend of Georgia Power, and not the ratepayer. Here’s the latest. –ed.

How corrupt do you have to be to vote for children to get cancer, houses to burn down, electric bills to double and triple, and to put untold numbers of Georgians at risk? Ask the Georgia State House Energy Subcommittee and Representative Don Parsons, Chair, (404-656-9198/ repdon@donparsons.org). That committee has decided that Georgians should not have a choice to opt out of having this potentially deadly item on the side of our homes and businesses, by tabling Senate Bill 459.

Senate Bill 459, which passed easily through the Georgia State Senate in early March, would allow Georgians to “just say no” to having a “smart” meter digital electric meter. Since they were first installed, “smart” meters have caused numerous fires in our part of the country. One company insider, Don Baker, said that the brand of digital meter that Georgia Power is trying to force on us is “fundamentally unsound,” due to causing fires and melting. He has brought a suit over that fact, stating that these devices can also overcharge customers by up to seven times. For details see (https://stopsmartmeters.org/2012/01/20/meters-that-endanger-shocking-details-from-a-whistleblower/). Georgia Power is an investor-owner utility. Investors, ask yourselves if this is a good long-term investment, and how the ultimate costs of lawsuits for fire and health damage will cut into your profits.

Despite the fact that the radiation pulsed by a “smart” meter hundreds—in some meters, hundreds of thousands—of times a day has been declared a Class 2B carcinogen by the World Health Organization, the electric company is installing them as close as 12 inches away from where children sleep. Children are especially susceptible to health effects from this type of radiation. To me, the fact that these meters can be hacked by a laptop—alerting someone to the fact you’re away from home—is pretty mild by comparison, but still represents another danger that everyone should have the right to avoid.

We are now urging Georgians—and anyone in the U.S. supporting our fight—to call the members of the Georgia House Energy Subcommittee:

  • Representative Mark Hamilton, chairman, 404-656-5132 or mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov;
  • Also contact: G. Baker, C. Fullerton, M. Scott, C. Martin, J. Carson, E. Smith, R. Williams, H. Geisinger, B. Horne, and R. Dickey—full contact info for these people is at www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org.

If you know anyone in Georgia, send them a note and encourage them to voice their objection to this move to table Senate Bill 459.

We need to remind them how necessary it is that they vote “Yes” on giving Georgians the right to opt out of having an unsafe “smart” meter on our homes. They must vote “Yes” on Senate Bill 459 by this week for this bill—and our families—to have a chance.

Representative Ben Harbin (404-656-3949 / ben.harbin@house.ga.gov) made the motion to table the bill—effectively tabling the rights, health, and safety of Georgia citizens. I don’t know who seconded the motion, or who voted for or against, because Don Parsons’ office will not say who took notes or who has the minutes of the meeting. (Parsons is the chairman of the full Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee.)

As has been discussed many times before on this website, the opt-out should be free for all energy customers. To charge people to protect themselves from radiation, surveillance, and fire danger is illegal and unethical. There is no federal or state law saying we have to have “smart” meters—the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 merely states that we can have one if we ask for one. So the electric companies should pay for them to be replaced, not the customers. The fact that they are untested for human safety means they never should have gone up in the first place, and are probably illegally installed! Those who choose to opt out should only be given safe, analog meters. Analog meters have been safely used in homes for over a century.

I’d like to remind everyone that—for Georgians at least—putting a sign under your safe, analog meter has kept many from getting a “smart” meter installed. The sign can say something along the lines of “DO NOT REPLACE METER. We refuse the “smart” meter due to health, safety, and privacy issues.” Just put that in a gallon ziplock and tape it securely beneath your analog meter. Be sure and tell your family, friends, and neighbors, too, so you can watch out for each other.

[Editors’ note: Attaching a sign is not enough in many places. After a phase of restraint, installers can begin to ignore and rip them down. Always consider protecting your private property rights by Defending Your Meter.]

An article came out just this week, saying that Georgia has the most corrupt state government in the nation. We’d like to prove them wrong, because we have seen the good that can be done. The Georgia State Senate passed this bill in no time. There is no reason for the Energy Subcommittee, then the House of Representatives, not to do the same. (Well, no good reason.)

But if enough people remind them not to throw their own constituents under the bus, maybe they will listen to their consciences.

Whatever the outcome, Georgians will definitely remember who voted “YES” in November. If not, rest assured that www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org will remind them!

–Terri Keller, M. A.

www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org

This entry was posted in georgia, neighborhood organizing, Privacy, radio-frequency radiation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Guest Post: Georgia Legislators Try to Put the Kibosh on Smart Meter Opt-Out Bill

  1. Beth says:

    Terry,
    Thank you so very much for all your hard work. These devices are being treated like they do the very same thing as the analog device, and no more. The truth of the matter is they reveal what’s going on in a private home. It can tell what individual appliances are being used, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers. These devices cross over into a Privacy Act issue. They’re far different than the meters they replaced. The things the meter “can” do is said to be confidential. We’re paying to be test subjects, as these meters have “not” been tested around humans, prior to the roll out. We’re also paying more due to the defective ability for these meters to actually read the “real” usage by the customer (most are paying a large bit more than what they’re actually using). It’s unethical, deadly, and a crime that’s being “allowed” to happen to each of us in Georgia. I’m sadden to think 2 people could effect 9,815,210 people’s lives. We need to call and stand up for our rights. If we don’t we’ll be subject to loosing other rights.

  2. Mark says:

    An excellent summary of the current status here in Georgia. While many are taking action here in Georgia, we need the support of others both within the state and without. The more people these representatives here from the more they will know that the continued status as a representative depends on voting SB 459 through!

  3. Electra says:

    Here’s some great news: FOX News reporters Harris Faulkner and Casey Stegall covered a controversial story Sunday evening: the new “smart” meter digital electric meters. The story centered in Nevada, where the electric company is installing Sensus meters, the same brand being installed by Georgia Power.

    Apparently, many in Nevada are not happy about these meters, as evidenced by one man’s comment about his home: “I’d sell my house and move out of this town before I’d let them put one of those devices on there.” Penny Hess said “Long-term exposure to them – you just don’t know what that’s going to bring.”

    Stegall said that was just a sampling of the reaction coming out of Nevada after these meters were rolled out. Customers are concerned about hackers knowing when they’re away from home. There are also health concerns about the radiofrequency radiation (RF) they emit.

    It looks like people all over the country are learning about the disaster that is the “smart” meter boondoggle. Wonder when the investors will get wind of their ship going down? Hopefully it will be soon, before their hard-earned dollars are up in smoke, just like too many cheaply made digital “smart” meters.

    Aaaaand…The Blaze is interested in the Georgia story, also! Liz Klimas did her homework for “Fight Against ‘Wireless Smart Meter Assault’ Spreads Over Health Concerns”:

    [snip]…”here’s a recap on smart meters and the controversy surrounding their installation. About a year ago, we reported that some people who had smart meters installed in place of analog devices to measure electrical use were experiencing symptoms like headaches, insomnia, tinnitus and DNA breakdown. What’s the alleged association between these devices and negative health impacts? Electromagnetic fields…[snip]

    “When the Blaze wrote about smart meters in March 2011, a group in California appeared to be leading the charge against the devices that not only seemed to cause health complications but were also invading privacy when it came to monitoring electrical use habits. StopSmartMeters.org was founded in 2010 as an advocacy group but now also provides ‘consultation and advice to dozens of local groups sprouting up who are fighting the wireless ‘smart’ meter assault.’

    [snip]

    “With the opt out not yet a done deal, Georgia residents are taking action themselves. CBS Atlanta reports one woman even put a lock on her analog meter to ensure it wasn’t taken by the power company. Watch the report: http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/17193296/power-customers-believe-smart-meters-cause-health-issues

    “This video shows an anti-smart meter crusader documenting a power company employee removing an analog meter from an 87-year-old woman’s home. According to the clip, the woman does not want a smart meter so she will be left without power all together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY5grRnTOf0&feature=player_embedded

    [snip]

    “But the jury on the meters even among scientific groups appears to be out. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year stating that its own review of existing medical literature found the devices are not safe. It wrote, “Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/fight-against-wireless-smart-meter-assault-spreads-over-health-concerns/

    The investors in these “Spy and Fry” meters need to be VERY nervous. I hope they will try to cut their losses by recognizing the problem and arranging a quick recall. Otherwise, this is going to be very embarrassing for all of those who arranged it and are still trying to pull it off, even in the face of imminent embarrassment, defeat, and multi-million dollar losses.

    • Paul H. says:

      Nice reporting! Thanks for the information. You are right, bad news is travelling quickly and it wont be stopped. We had a smart meter workshop in Phoenix last Friday, unfortunately there was a media blackout ( couldn’t find a word about it). The hall was packed and the people were educated. People are talking here. There was even a retired Maricopa County Superior Court judge standing up to the ACC and APS.
      Anyway, I predict that the wireless industry will be the next “bubble” to pop. Thanks to the, force the smart meter down your throat group.

  4. Terri very informative article on this very important issue facing all of the United States of America! This is not just a California, Georgia or Maine issue it is an American issue. For me it is an infringment of my freedoms to have a say in my health and what is installed on my property! Too much overreaching by the Federal Government is happening and often members of our government do not listen to the people well they will have to listen we are all loud enough!

    Right now in Georgia the SB 459 Bill is just sitting there doing nothing as Harbin and many others do not see the merits of giving you a choice in cancer and privacy or not! Well I am voting for cancer-free and privacy what do you vote for? Please contact your members of congress and make this a national issue so states can opt out of smart meters.

    On March 22nd Glen Beck did an article on SB 459 in Ga and also on the California legislation please go there and comment! See the article below. Also Fox News did a story on it last night about the rise of discontent with smart meters growing. Support your neighbor we all need each other right now!

    Join us on facebook or visit our web site.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/fight-against-wireless-smart-meter-assault-spreads-over-health-concerns/

    Thank You Smart Meter. org.

  5. Mr. Bubbles says:

    They can be hacked by laptops? How?

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      Mr Bubbles,
      It will bubble your nose and bubble your toes- Mister Bubbles.
      Of course a SmartMeter can’t be hacked by a laptop (whatever that is).
      But most intelligent people know this, so don’t let a bit of false information detract from the real problems with the SmartMeter deployment.
      I have been working diligently to dispel the myths that a few science fiction writers post, and guess what ?. It has finally sunk in to many people all over the world. But it has not sunk in to everyone’s minds, many people ignore my posts.
      You can expect to see more of the rhetoric being repeated over and over again by not so intelligent people, but these people all mean well, they are just misinformed about a few things. Most of their gripes are true and spot on.
      Just say NO to SmartMeter and Silver Springs smart grid radio.

      • Electra says:

        Will post more about this later – trying to save Georgia at the moment: “Computers can be hacked. The Smart Meter is a computer complete with motherboard, chip, flash memory, radio controls, trace hardware using ZigBee networking technology on the OpenWay smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Anyone with a laptop, specialized software and a belt clip radio (see BCR) can perform “contingency reading, field programming, field investigations, remote disconnect and reconnect operations and firmware downloads.” In other words, if you have enough time, motivation, and resources a Smart Meter can be hacked (see video at 43:00), says Robert Former Principal Security Engineer at Itron (Smart Meter manufacturer).”

        http://stopocsmartmeters.com/smart-meter-dangers/hacking-cyber-security/

        • Mr. Bubbles says:

          From your article: “The important thing is to make compromise as painful and time-consuming a process as possible to deter or delay an attacker and implement processes for adequate detection and response” (quote from Wired).

          Indeed, this is how computer security in general works. You make the attack unfeasible rather than impossible, and force the attacker to take another approach. How much work you do towards this goal is dictated by the reward an attacker gets from an attack. You watch for intrusion attempts and adjust your stance accordingly. And you build in, from the start, strong controls that provide a good foundation.

          This sounds like a reason to understand and audit security controls or actions on the network, rather than a reason to stop construction of it.

          If you could turn back the clock, would you have chosen to stop the construction of the Internet if you knew that cyber security was going to be so challenging? I suspect most people would not – I believe that most people would look at Wikipedia, video chat with far-flung family, online services (banking, iTunes, etc), and the “Arab Spring” as good things that happened because of the Internet and accept the cost of security. You could look at how easy it is to create a community around people with similar concerns but who are geographically dispersed, such as stopsmartmeters.org (even if I disagree with your mission) as a benefit of the Internet. These things happened and continue to flourish despite the difficulty in securing them.

          • Paul H. says:

            “Arab Spring” was a good thing? Now there are many Christians that are being killed and their churches are being burnt down. Their freedom is gone, just like what you want to do here in America. I see more freedom of speech quashed every day. You want to take away the freedom to have something so simple like an analog meter on the side of my home. The smart meter has killed and will continue killing, just like the “Arab Spring”.

  6. Electra says:

    Tuesday: SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN ATLANTA! THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS THAT THEY NOT BE FORCED TO HAVE A BURNING, MELTING, EXPLODING, RADIATION-SPEWING METER – BUT THE ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE WON’T EVEN PUT IT UP FOR A VOTE!!

    PLEASE CALL THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, REP. DAVID RALSTON, AND LET HIM KNOW THAT THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! HIS NUMBER IS 404-656-5020 (email david.ralston@house.ga.gov).

    THEN, PLEASE CALL “REPRESENTATIVE” MARK HAMILTON, THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE. TELL HIM HE MUST CALL A MEETING IMMEDIATELY! HE IS AT 404-656-5132 (email mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov). TELL HIM TO DO HIS JOB, THAT WE PAY HIM TO DO: PROTECT GEORGIANS!!

    Then, please call the rest of the Energy Subcommittee. Ask them if they were in the meeting, how they voted, and to pressure “Rep.” Hamilton to call a meeting. Also, please ask them to vote Senate Bill 459 back into action, so it can move to the Rules Committee and onto the House floor. THIS CAN BE DONE AND THERE IS STILL TIME TO DO IT – don’t let them tell you otherwise!! These people can be heroes worldwide – that’s how big the story is – it’s up to them. Here is the list – and thank you so much!!

    Chairman, Hamilton, Mark, 404-656-5132, mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov

    Geisinger, Harry, 404-656-0254, harry.geisinger@house.ga.gov

    Horne, Billy, 404-656-0287, gahouse71@yahoo.com

    Baker, Glenn, 404-656-0202, glenn.baker@house.ga.gov

    Carson, John, 404-656-0287, john.carson@house.ga.gov

    Drenner, Karla, 404-656-0202, dren16999@aol.com

    Fullerton, Carol, 404-656-0127, carol.fullerton@house.ga.gov

    Harbin, Ben, 404-656-3949, ben.harbin@house.ga.gov

    Martin, Chuck, 404-656-5064, chuck@martinforgeorgia.com

    Scott, Martin, 404-656-0254, martin.scott@house.ga.gov

    Smith, Earnest, 404-656-6372, earnest.smith@house.ga.gov

    Parsons, Don, 404-656-9198, repdon@donparsons.org

  7. Electra says:

    This may turn out to be a double post, so I hope the mods will delete this one later, and keep the one with the rep contact list – I need one that doesn’t need to wait for moderation: Tuesday: SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN ATLANTA! THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS THAT THEY NOT BE FORCED TO HAVE A BURNING, MELTING, EXPLODING, RADIATION-SPEWING METER – BUT THE ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE WON’T EVEN PUT IT UP FOR A VOTE!!

    PLEASE CALL THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, REP. DAVID RALSTON, AND LET HIM KNOW THAT THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! HIS NUMBER IS 404-656-5020 (email david.ralston@house.ga.gov).

    THEN, PLEASE CALL “REPRESENTATIVE” MARK HAMILTON, THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE. TELL HIM HE MUST CALL A MEETING IMMEDIATELY! HE IS AT 404-656-5132 (email mark.hamilton@house.ga.gov). TELL HIM TO DO HIS JOB, THAT WE PAY HIM TO DO: PROTECT GEORGIANS!!

    Then, please call the rest of the Energy Subcommittee (their contact info is at http://www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org). Ask them if they were in the meeting, how they voted, and to pressure “Rep.” Hamilton to call a meeting. Also, please ask them to vote Senate Bill 459 back into action, so it can move to the Rules Committee and onto the House floor. THIS CAN BE DONE AND THERE IS STILL TIME TO DO IT – don’t let them tell you otherwise!! These people can be heroes worldwide – that’s how big the story is – it’s up to them. Thanks, everyone!!

  8. Redi Kilowatt says:

    You are confused, the SmartMeters are not AMI meters, they are AMR meters, they can’t be hacked like you think.
    But, is a person sets up an account with their utility using a completely separate broadband internet connection to read their total electrical usage online, that information broadcast will contain a customers name on the account, address, telephone number, account number, meter number and total electrical usage. Computers can be compromised or hacked. The AMR meters do have a computer chip, but they are not advanced meters or computers, very simple.
    An advanced meter costs the customers upwards of $5000 plus other computer and electronic equipment. The utilities would never install an advanced meter unless the customer pays for it themselves.
    Advanced meters have been in use for many years, long before the SimpleSmartMeter was invented, but for residential applications are not needed, AMI meters are for large commercial and industrial customers, like these new solar leasing corporations that put panels on residential buildings, radio transmitter sites, water and sewer treatment plants, transportation agencies, linear accelerators and other government taxpayer funded university projects, automated factories and manufacturing plants etc. etc.
    I think that is the biggest problem with the promotion of the AMR SmartMeters, the corporations are guilty of false advertising by saying that the AMR meters are AMI meters, the are not advanced meters.
    So, have you even heard of one instance of an AMI meter being successfully hacked ?,
    or are you just parroting hypothetical scenarios created by corporate security experts.

  9. Concerned Citizen says:

    Wonderful Article Terri! You’re Georgia’s Erin Brokovich. Thanks for all your hard, tireless work on this serious issue; we have you to thank for standing up for our welfare. Somebody has to!!! Georgians should have a right not to have a meter on their home which poses so many negative issues such as: health, fire, cybersecurity/privacy and cost (retrofitting and buying all new smart grid compatible appliances- in this economy??? ) nor should they be threatened, like our family and many others (including housing associations), with an electric shut off. That’s insanity!!! Let’s hope our representatives and the utility commission take their oath seriously and stand up for Georgians in the next three days by voting yes on sb 459. We will soon see if they have “the right stuff.” In response to the questions about cybersecurity, here are 4 useful links for reference. The smartmeter system can in fact be hacked.
    1. https://mocana.com/blog/2012/01/10/smart-meters-hacked-part-two/
    Here’s part of the article:

    Yesterday, DeviceLine talked about two German researchers who could intercept and decipher what videos you were watching by eavesdropping on your smart meter. Today, DeviceLine is talking about a more serious concern: spoofing energy usage data from your smart meter.

    Speaking the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28C3), Dario Carluccio and Stephan Brinkhaus showed the audience how the smart meters associated with the German energy company Discovergy used improperly configured SSL. The company also did not encrypt the consumer data. Naturally this is a target for future exploration.

    The researchers used the smart meter’s MAC address to spoof the unencrypted packets going back to Discovergy. Not only could they tamper with the smart meter results, they managed to manipulate data spikes and valleys in one report to read “U have been hacked” (see graphic above). Further, since they used a Windows program (not Linux), the researchers commented that just about anyone can do this (provided they release the Windows tool to the masses).

    Fun and games aside, research like this could cost the utilities in terms of theft of service (one could depress actual energy usage) or cost consumers in targeted high bills (one could increase actual energy usage). Needless to say, this is a serious problem if the energy provider has not secured the smart meter or its data in transit.”

    2. http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/smart-meters-will-be-‘successfully-hacked’-warn-researchers-8766
    “It would be naïve to think that smart meters will not be successfully attacked. They will be,” the report states. “In fact, smart meters represent a worst-case scenario in terms of security: the devices lack sufficient power to execute strong security software; they are placed in physically non- secure locations; and they are installed in volumes large enough that one or two may not be missed.”

    “Specifically, Pike believes that smart meters are an inherent weak point in the various networks which will ultimately form smart power grids, stated Pike industry analyst Bob Lockhart. “Smart meters are one of the weakest links in the smart grid security chain,” he said. “Home area networks, commercial building networks, and utility networks all perform well in terms of keeping data encrypted within their domains. However, these domains terminate at the smart meter, and the only way for data to pass from one network to the other is for the smart meter to decrypt the data from one side and re-encrypt it on the other. ”

    3.http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/smart_utility_meters_have_secu.html
    ‘Smart’ utility meters have security holes and can be hacked, expert finds
    Computer-security researchers say new “smart” meters that are designed to help deliver electricity more efficiently also have flaws that could let hackers tamper with the power grid in previously impossible ways.
    At the very least, the vulnerabilities open the door for attackers to jack up strangers’ power bills. These flaws also could get hackers a key step closer to exploiting one of the most dangerous capabilities of the new technology, which is the ability to remotely turn someone else’s power on and off.
    The attacks could be pulled off by stealing meters — which can be situated outside of a home — and reprogramming them. Or an attacker could sit near a home or business and wirelessly hack the meter from a laptop, according to Joshua Wright, a senior security analyst with InGuardians Inc. The firm was hired by three utilities to study their smart meters’ resistance to attack.
    These utilities, which he would not name, have already done small deployments of smart meters and plan to roll the technology out to hundreds of thousands of power customers, Wright told The Associated Press. There is no evidence the security flaws have been exploited, although Wright said a utility could have been hacked without knowing it. InGuardians said it is working with the utilities to fix the problems.
    Power companies are aggressively rolling out the new meters. In the U.S. alone, more than 8 million smart meters have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly 60 million should be in place by 2020, according to a list of publicly announced projects kept by The Edison Foundation, an organization focused on the electric industry.
    Unlike traditional electric meters that merely record power use — and then must be read in person once a month by a meter reader — smart meters measure consumption in real time. By being networked to computers in electric utilities, the new meters can signal people or their appliances to take certain actions, such as reducing power usage when electricity prices spike.
    But the very interactivity that makes smart meters so attractive also makes them vulnerable to hackers, because each meter essentially is a computer connected to a vast network.
    There are few public studies on the meters’ resistance to attack, in part because the technology is new. However, last summer, Mike Davis, a researcher from IOActive Inc., showed how a computer worm could hop between meters in a power grid with smart meters, giving criminals control over those meters.
    Alan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute, a security research and training organization that was not involved in Wright’s work with InGuardians, said it proved that hacking smart meters is a serious concern. “We weren’t sure it was possible,” Paller said. “He actually verified it’s possible. … If the Department of Energy is going to make sure the meters are safe, then Josh’s work is really important.”
    SANS has invited Wright to present his research Tuesday at a conference it is sponsoring on the security of utilities and other “critical infrastructure.”
    Industry representatives say utilities are doing rigorous security testing that will make new power grids more secure than the patchwork system we have now, which is already under hacking attacks from adversaries believed to be working overseas.
    “We know that automation will bring new vulnerabilities, and our task — which we tackle on a daily basis — is making sure the system is secure,” said Ed Legge, spokesman for Edison Electric Institute, a trade organization for shareholder-owned electric companies.
    But many security researchers say the technology is being deployed without enough security probing. Wright said his firm found “egregious” errors, such as flaws in the meters and the technologies that utilities use to manage data from meters. “Even though these protocols were designed recently, they exhibit security failures we’ve known about for the past 10 years,” Wright said.
    He said InGuardians found vulnerabilities in products from all five of the meter makers the firm studied. He would not disclose those manufacturers.
    One of the most alarming findings involved a weakness in a communications standard used by the new meters to talk to utilities’ computers. Wright found that hackers could exploit the weakness to break into meters remotely, which would be a key step for shutting down someone’s power. Or someone could impersonate meters to the power company, to inflate victims’ bills or lower his own. A criminal could even sneak into the utilities’ computer networks to steal data or stage bigger attacks on the grid.
    Wright said similar vulnerabilities used to be common in wireless Internet networking equipment, but have vanished with an emphasis on better security.
    For instance, the meters encrypt their data — scrambling the information to hide it from outsiders. But the digital “keys” needed to unlock the encryption were stored on data-routing equipment known as access points that many meters relay data to. Stealing the keys lets an attacker eavesdrop on all communication between meters and that access point, so the keys instead should be kept on computers deep inside the utilities’ networks, where they would be safer.
    “That lesson seems to be lost on these meter vendors,” he said. That speaks to the “relative immaturity” of the meter technology, Wright added.
    4. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Smart-Meters-Can-Be-Hacked-Security-Experts-59943982.html
    Mitchell works in the HACNet Lab at SMU’s Computer Science and Engineering Department, which is studying potential problems hackers could cause with the new digital meters. “They could cause some kind of mass disconnect for the neighborhood or part of the grid,” said Suku Nair, of HACNet. “It could be the whole Dallas area.”

  10. Electra says:

    This is a message for your Georgia readers, and anyone else who is interested in getting involved in our fight.

    We’re going straight to the top! Please call and/or email Governor Deal today, and ask him to intercede on our behalf for Senate Bill 459, an opt out for extremely dangerous “smart” meters. Just as someone on death row heading to the electric chair hopes for a reprieve, so, too, are we, as we head toward our own personal electric chair, the “smart” meter. They can harm your family, your home, and your finances, so please call Gov. Deal at 404-656-1776 (email: http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html), and ask him to use his influence to get SB 459 out of the Energy Subcommittee and onto the House floor – there is still time! Thank you. For more information, please visit http://www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org.

  11. Paul H. says:

    “Arab Spring” was a good thing? Now there are many Christians that are being killed and their churches are being burnt down. Their freedom is gone, just like what you want to do here in America. I see more freedom of speech quashed every day. You want to take away the freedom to have something so simple like an analog meter on the side of my home. The smart meter has killed and will continue killing, just like the “Arab Spring”.

  12. Electra says:

    Please call Governor Deal, and asking him to intercede on our behalf for Senate Bill 459, an opt out for extremely dangerous “smart” meters. Just as someone on death row heading to the electric chair hopes for a reprieve, so, too, do we, as we head toward our own personal electric chair, the “smart” meter! They can harm your family, your home, and your finances, so please call Gov. Deal at 404-656-1776 and ask him to use his influence to get SB 459 out of the Energy Subcommittee and onto the House floor – there is still time! One more thing: We also think calling the Speaker of the House, Rep. David Ralston (404-656-5020), will be fruitful. Tell him that, for the House to maintain its integrity, the Energy Subcommittee/”Rep.” Mark Hamilton/”Rep.” Don Parsons must be forced to pass Senate Bill 459 to the Rules Committee, then to the House floor IMMEDIATELY. We demand real representation! For more information, please visit http://www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org. Thank you! Oh, and if you’re from Georgia, please contact your own rep, if you can.

    Also, you’ll love this video from FOX Report. Check out the fire in the guy who says he would MOVE OUT OF TOWN before he’d accept a “smart” meter! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv4Zd05o8Sw

    Feel free to send this to the Energy Subcommittee reps; their contact info is at http://www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org. Thanks again!

  13. Celeste says:

    Let’s just forget the high billing, the health issues, the privacy concerns, the danger to your home or business as the result of the smart meter. The way we should look at this meter, what is the hurry for the roll-out world wide. Cozy to think of it. We will be all under one big umbrella. To what purpose? With the smart meter, they will know exactly what is going on in your home.When you are on holidays, when you come back, the time you go to bed and when you get up. How about what’s cooking? Yes they will have control of that as well. All your appliances are no longer yours, but belong to B.C.Hydro’s smart meter. Let’s not forget there are three chips inside the meter. B.C.Hydro is a public utility it belongs to the people. Fight for your Democracy!
    Heavens what is next, for what purpose? Is this N.W.O. “Big Brother “calling??

  14. Lynden says:

    shame on our Legislators for allowing this to happen without our vote! Pretty soon we wont be able to stop anything that effects us. I was gone from my home, a GA Power agent came to my fence doors…took them off the hinges, took off analog meter and replaced it with a smart meter without my permission. When I contacted Ms. Simon with GA Power Corporate office she stated that the meter has a steal plate (which I didn’t get to see because they never considered my input as a customer) behind it to ward off radiation into the house and it’s occupants. She stated that all the talk about monitoring when you get up, what power utensils you use throughout the day and the meter tying into your computer is all ONE persons OPINION which is a NON-ISSUE because it does not exist. Please feel free to contact this woman who is clearly out of touch with her customers needs and wants 404-506-7491. This way she will know how many there are of us who do NOT WANT SMART METER. Truly we are not free to chose in America.

  15. Todd West says:

    Georgia Power will conduct on June 7th an “RF Investigation” at my location concerning a PSC complaint filed in May 2012 regarding problem with the Sensus Smart Meters installed on this property. Georgia Power has been notified about radio produced infrasonic problems at this location for the better part of 2 years now. In four visits from Georgia Power employees, including one visit by two engineers, their meters were never checked using RF measuring equipment, despite being told that the problem caused pressure on the eardrums, feelings of heat upon the eyes and the perceived sound of a diesel engine running at a distance, all recognized and known effects of certain radio frequencies, which causes were unknown to me at the time, so now, knowing what can cause these problems, it is a mystery why a device that can do it was not ever checked until a service commission complaint was filed.

    The RF problems are noticeable mainly from 9pm till 9am, though have been observed at all hours of the day and night. After receiving the PSC complaint, the problem persists, yet has been attenuated somewhat, meaning adjustments have been made to equipment. When asked via telephone in late May 2012 if Georgia Power had received any complaints about their smart meters, I was told no. I do not believe that is factual.

    The base of the problem has been tentatively identified as the work of the installed “smart meters”; after recording and review of the RF “investigation” done by Southern Company employees are completed on Thursday, test equipment measurements and recordings will take place in the days, weeks, and months that follow using personnel and equipment not owned nor operated by The Southern Company to show the presence and source of this serious problem, which The Southern Company has ignored, and denied, before even testing for it. Should it be proven that these serious problems were a result of negligent or determined efforts by the manufacturer, operator and end users of these installed devices, further corrective action must be forthcoming for health and safety reasons. If you would like to observe and/or record their investigation in progress and have access to the follow up third party investigations, contact me. Todd West 770-769-9126

    location of tests: 6412 Hwy 140 NW. Adairsville, GA. 30103, Thursday @ 1pm

  16. Thanks for bringing such an alarming message to our attention:
    * Radiation
    * House Fires
    * Privacy infringement

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