Saturday, August 17, 2013

Plan to remove cell tower? Get department of telecommunications unit's nod

Plan to remove cell tower? Get department of telecommunications unit's nod

Why Teachers' Unions Who Did Their Homework Do Not Support WiFi in Schools

Why Teachers' Unions Who Did Their Homework Do Not Support WiFi in Schools

German Teachers Union advocated Radiation-free Learning Environment 


UK: Association of Teachers and Lecturers, which represents more than 160,000 staff (2009)

UK: Professional Association of Teachers (PAT), which has 35,000 members (2007)

UK: Voice - The Union for Education Professionals (2009) (2013)

“In the last few years there has been a great weight of evidence from around the world which suggests that exposure to electromagnetic radiation can have long-term health impacts, particularly on children, and that exposing young children (from birth to 12) to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can produce changes in cell formation, genetic changes, and potential cancers. 

Exposure levels are only half the story; length of exposure is crucial too. Long exposures at lower intensity levels may be as damaging as high exposure levels for short periods hence our concern about wireless networks in schools and nurseries. 
It is a considerable concern that in schools we are installing wi-fi systems and we have no clear evidence that they are safe. Our concern is that until they are declared to be safe and proven to be safe we should not be installing them in schools. 

The difficulty is that once installed in schools, they are switched on constantly. Whether the children are using them or not, they are exposed to that level of radiation. 

Voice has advocated that new wi-fi systems should not be installed in schools, that existing systems should be turned off when not required and that schools should consider whether they really need to use wi-fi, which was developed to facilitate Internet access on the move rather than to be used as a convenient alternative to cables in dedicated IT facilities.”

United Teachers of Los Angeles, representing 40,000 teachers and staff (2013)

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union which represents over 40,000 teachers and other workers in LAUSD, passed the following motion by a sweeping majority: 

“I move that UTLA will abide by current National NEA Policy for Environmentally Safe Schools which states that all employees and stakeholders should be informed when there are changes in their exposure to environmental hazards including electromagnetic radiation and that all stakeholders and the public should be notified of any actual and potential hazards. UTLA will advocate for technological solutions that maintain technology upgrades while not increasing employees exposure to electromagnetic radiation.”

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association representing 37,000 members (2012)

Greater Victoria Teachers' Association (2010)

(2013) Members of 5 major unions in France which represented workers of the following large corporations and organizations protested to demand reductionof electromagnetic radiation in their work place.

The Bank of France
France Telecom Orange
L'Oréal (Cosmetics giant)
The City of Paris
RATP (Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports - a state-owned public transport operation)
Geodis (A leading Transport and Logistics company in Europe)
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France)

EdTech companies keep pushing for MORE wireless in classrooms, saying RF/EMF is safe when official agencies lack long-term data of health impact from exposure on children.

All these unions are informed about the health risks of WiFi and cellphones and are fighting to protect the health of their adult members in the workplace.

Why would we choose to increase the exposure to school children?



Radiation from phones is a workplace hazard... apparently...

In Tech by Peter Nelis
16 August, 2013

Ontario Teachers Union Wants Cell Phones Turned Off in the Classroom

Yesterday, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario voted at its annual general meeting that student cell phones should be turned off and stored during school hours, unless a teacher gives permission. The vote was part of a series of motions requesting that radiation from cell phones and WiFi be recognized as a potential workplace hazard for teachers.

"There is cause for concern for members' health and safety, especially women," said Sandra Wash, a teacher representing Peel District who spoke at the meeting.

Two years ago the World Health Organization officially declared wireless radiation from cell phones and WiFi to be a possible Carcinogen.A second vote yesterday afternoon demanded that school Boards stop hiding WiFi transmitters in the ceiling, and label them as part of a hazard control program.

ETFO is Canada's largest teachers union, representing seventy-six thousand Ontario elementary teachers.

- See more at:

Turn off cellphones in schools, says Canada’s largest teachers union

Turn off cellphones in schools, says Canada’s largest teachers union

Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario passes a non-binding motion to ban cellphones from classrooms out of potential workplace safety concerns.

By:  News reporter, Published on Fri Aug 16 2013
Cellphones were out, then they were back in, and now they could be out again.
The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario passed a resolution Friday that cellphones in classrooms should be turned off unless a student gets special permission from a teacher to use one.
Boards like the Toronto public board allowed the phones back into the classroom in 2011 after a total ban four years earlier.
The union, the largest in Canada, representing 76,000 elementary teachers, also passed a second motion, which would require Wi-Fi transmitters in schools to be out in the open and clearly marked as part of a hazard control program that would outline how to reduce exposure to radio waves.
The organization passed the motions in an effort to have radiation from cellphones and Wi-Fi, which both transmit radio waves, recognized as a potential workplace safety issue.
“There is cause for concern for members’ health and safety, especially women,” said Peel public teacher Sandra Wash, who spoke at the meeting, according to a news release.
The motions are non-binding. It’s up to the school boards to set policy for wireless devices.
“It’s the board’s jurisdiction to decide how we deal with cellphones, and certainly we’re seeing increasing enthusiasm from teachers for students to bring their own devices to school for learning purposes,” says Brian Woodland, a spokesman for the Peel public board. By September, all schools in Peel Region will be outfitted with Wi-Fi.
Health Canada has said there is “no convincing scientific evidence that exposure to low-level radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi causes adverse health effects in humans,” according to its website. Radio frequency energy levels must meet Health Canada’s exposure guidelines.

Woodland says the Peel board does random testing to ensure the levels in the region’s public schools are within those guidelines.

FDA Finalizes Guidance on Radio Frequency in Wireless Medical Devices

FDA Finalizes Guidance on Radio Frequency in Wireless Medical Devices

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration Aug. 13 released final guidance for industry and FDA staff on incorporating and integrating radio frequency (RF) wireless technology in medical devices.

In a Federal Register notice announcing the guidance and set for Aug. 14 publication, FDA said its recommendations cover devices that are implanted or worn on the body, and others intended for use in locations such as hospitals, homes, clinics, and clinical laboratories.

The guidance discusses issues that may affect the safe and effective use of medical devices that incorporate RF wireless technology, including selection of wireless technology, quality of service, coexistence, security, and electromagnetic compatibility. The guidance also provides recommendations for information to be included in FDA premarket submissions for such devices, FDA said.

According to the guidance, titled Radio Frequency Wireless Technology in Medical Devices, there has been rapid growth in medical devices that incorporate RF wireless technology.

“With the increasing use of RF wireless medical devices, continuing innovation and advancements in wireless technology, and an increasingly crowded RF environment, RF wireless technology considerations should be taken into account to help provide for the safe and effective use of these medical devices,” FDA said in the guidance.

The use and deployment of RF wireless technology in and around medical devices is an increasing concern because the electromagnetic environments where medical devices are used might contain many sources of RF energy, and the RF wireless emissions from one product or device could potentially affect the function of another, the agency said. The guidance recommends that manufacturers address the potential issues that relate to the incorporation of RF wireless technology that may affect the safe and effective use of medical devices.

The draft guidance was issued in January 2007 (72 Fed. Reg. 137), and addressed “design, development, and evaluation of radio frequency wireless technology in medical devices.”

FDA Commitment to Security
In an Aug. 13 blog posting, FDA senior policy adviser Bakul Patel said the guidance “reflects FDA's ongoing commitment to the practice of regulatory science; that is, the science of developing new tools, standards, and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality, and performance of all FDA-regulated products.”

In this instance, Patel said FDA worked closely with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which in 2009 was charged by Congress to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure every American has access to wireless technology and to delineate the respective areas of expertise and jurisdiction between the agencies.
“Our goal is to help industry develop a range of innovative, safe, and effective medical devices that incorporate wireless technology, which can, in turn, help reduce health care costs, enhance quality, and benefit patients and providers alike,” Patel said in the blog posting.

The device guidance said wireless safety was a priority, and referred manufacturers to a June draft guidance on cybersecurity. In that draft, FDA provided recommendations on cybersecurity management measures for manufacturers preparing premarket submissions for medical devices (see previous article).

The final guidance also called for RF-specific safeguards.

“While most wireless technologies have encryption schemes available, wireless encryption might need to be enabled and assessed for adequacy for the medical device's intended use. In addition, the security measures should be well coordinated among the medical device components, accessories, and system, and as needed, with a host wireless network,” FDA said in the final guidance.

Coexistence, Other Hazards
Similar to the draft guidance, the RF final guidance noted that wireless devices must be able to coexist with each other. According to the final guidance, designers and manufacturers of wireless medical devices “should consider the ability of their devices to function properly in the intended use environments where other RF wireless technologies will likely be located. In the design, testing, and use of wireless medical devices, the correct, timely, and secure transmission of medical data and information is important for the safe and effective use of both wired and wireless medical devices and device systems.”

Since it is possible for an electromagnetic disturbance (EMD) to affect important medical device functions, mitigation measures for some risks could aid the device operator in recognizing a hazardous situation and taking action to prevent harm, FDA said in the guidance.

The guidance cautioned manufacturers to take into account other risks, such as:
• poorly characterized or poorly utilized wireless systems (e.g., wireless networks);
• lost, corrupted, or time-delayed transmissions, and degradations in wireless transmissions;
• lack or compromise of wireless security; and
• potential misuse of a wireless medical device because of lack of or inadequate instructions for use.

Premarket Application
The guidance also describes what sponsors should incorporate into a premarket approval application for RF devices.

The guidance said manufacturers will need to consider the quality of service necessary to ensure proper functioning in the device, security of wireless signals, maintenance of the device, and whether the device will be able to coexist and operate effectively with other devices in a shared environment.

FDA also noted the need for test data summaries and proper labeling procedures.

The guidance is at
The FDA blog posting is at

Warning over “blackout” attack which lets hackers turn off lights in homes

Warning over “blackout” attack which lets hackers turn off lights in homes

“Many of these smart televisions are vulnerable to hackers who can spy on you while you’re watching tv in your living room”

By Rob Waugh | Yahoo! News – Wed, Aug 14, 2013

Criminals can “black out” homes using cyber attacks, a researcher has warned.
View Photo
Yahoo! News - Criminals can “black out” homes using cyber attacks, a researcher has warned.

Criminals can “black out” homes using cyber attacks - switching out the lights and preventing users turning them back on, a researcher has warned. 

The terrifying attack is possible due to a vulnerability in Philips “Hue” lighting systems, a popular gadget on sale in the Apple store. 
Attackers could access the networked lights via Wi-Fi, then create what researcher Nitesh Dhajani describes as a “perpetual blackout”. 

[Security warning over Google Chrome - if you share your PC, others can see your passwords]

“If the victim manually switches the bulbs off and on, the lights will flicker on for less than half a second and then go off again,” Dhajani warns. 
The hack is the latest in a series of demonstrations which show off how vulnerable “Smart” devices can be - with researchers recently showing off hacks which could overwhelm wireless door locks, of which there are more than 100,000 in the UK. 
Philips “Hue” lighting systems - a popular gadget on sale in the Apple store.
Another demonstration of a hack against Samsung televisions which allowed attackers to “look through” the webcam prompted calls from a U.S. Senator, Charles E Schumer, for increased protection. 
“You expect to watch TV, but you don’t want the TV watching you,” Schumer said. “Many of these smart televisions are vulnerable to hackers who can spy on you while you’re watching tv in your living room.”
The Hue wireless system - on sale in Apple store - controls wireless LED light bulbs in the home via a wireless bridge, and can be controlled by iOS and Android apps. 

[Dalai Lama's Website Hacked In 'Spying Attack']

But researcher Nitesh Dhanjani warns that attackers could “black out” all the Hue lights from nearby (any nearby location within reach of the same Wi-Fi network) by using malware to capture a security token that allows control of the system. 
Dhanjani says that attackers could even control the system via the Hue website. “By 2022, the average household with two teenage children will own roughly 50 such Internet connected devices, according to estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development,” Dhanjani says. 
“Our society is starting to increasingly depend upon such devices to promote automation and increase our well being. As such, it is important that we begin a dialogue on how we can securely enable the upcoming technology.”
“Lighting is critical to physical security. Smart lightbulb systems are likely to be deployed in current and new residential and corporate constructions. An abuse case such as the ability of an intruder to remotely shut off lighting in locations such as hospitals and other public venues can result in serious consequences,” Dhanjani writes.“blackout”-attack-which-lets-hackers-turn-off-lights-in-homes-104340868.html#r9xr3vI

Opponents voice concerns over Maine smart meters

Opponents voice concerns over Maine smart meters

Meeting held Wednesday at UMaine Augusta

UPDATED 2:42 PM EDT Aug 07, 2013

CMP Smart Meter

AUGUSTA, Maine —Some Maine residents say they started experiencing headaches and other health concerns after "smart meters" were installed at their homes.

Maine's Public Utilities Commission held a public witness hearing on Wednesday at the University of Maine at Augusta.
The hearing is part of an investigation the commission launched into health risks of Central Maine Power's smart meters.
More than 6,000 smart meters have been installed in Maine while 8,000 have opted out.
CMP says the meters have been proven safe. It says the meters provide residents detailed information about their electricity usage, allowing them to cut back and save money.
Donna Giroux of Kennebunk says she became extremely ill and experienced facial burning, weakness and other cognitive and neurological effects after smart meters were installed in her neighborhood.