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FCC approves spending billions to put Wi-Fi in schools and libraries
USA Created: 18 Jul 2014
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a plan to spend $1 billion per year to provide Wi-Fi service in schools and libraries.

The plan from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler passed in a 3-2 vote after an eleventh-hour compromise was reached to secure the votes of the commission’s two Democrats.

“Because of what we do today, 10 million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t. That’s a good day’s work,” Wheeler said at Friday’s open meeting.

The Wi-Fi plan has proved controversial at the agency and on Capitol Hill.

Republicans warn that the agency will need to increase fees on U.S. phone bills to pay for the spending in Wheeler’s plan. Democrats have said the FCC should increase connectivity funding for schools and libraries across the board and worry that the Wi-Fi focus will take away funding for basic connectivity in schools and libraries.

Wheeler and the FCC’s two Democrats tweaked his original plan to ensure the Wi-Fi-only funding does not take away from funding on traditional broadband.

“It certainly is not perfect, and there are key aspects I would have approached differently, but the order makes key improvements,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (D) said.

The $1 billion in annual funding would come in addition to the annual $2.4 billion budget for the FCC’s E-Rate program.

That program works to connect schools and libraries to the Internet and dovetails with the Obama administration’s ConnectED goal of connecting 99 percent of U.S. students to “next-generation” Internet by 2017.

While the agency had already set aside the first $2 billion for the Wi-Fi upgrade, the remaining billions would come from eliminating inefficiencies in the E-Rate program and redirecting funding that is currently going towards outdated technologies, such as phones and pagers.

Education groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed concerns that the FCC would have to either raise the E-Rate budget or redirect funding for basic connectivity to meet the remaining funding goals after the first $2 billion.

Education and library groups also raised concerns about the FCC’s plan to distribute the Wi-Fi funding based on the student body size of applying schools and the square footage of applying libraries.

The final plan increases funding for small schools and libraries and would allow the FCC to reassess the per-student and per-square-foot funding model after the first $2 billion is spent.

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel — a prominent voice in the debate over E-Rate reform — thanked Wheeler and others “for agreeing with me that all requests for connectivity to schools and libraries … be honored before Wi-Fi funding is made available.”

“I am mindful that any efforts to make Wi-Fi more broadly available cannot come at the expense of E-Rate funding that keeps schools and libraries connected to basic broadband,” she said.

Wheeler’s concessions did not win over the commission’s Republicans.

Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly criticized Wheeler, saying he focused on requests from Democrats and ignored Republicans during negotiations over the Wi-Fi proposal.

O’Rielly said Wheeler’s plan reflects the “policy du jour of closing the so-called Wi-Fi gap” and will cause the agency to either renege on funding promises to schools and libraries or increase fees on U.S. phone bills.

Pai — a vocal advocate for E-Rate reform — slammed the plan for being “not real reform.”

He said Wheeler missed an opportunity to craft a bipartisan E-Rate reform plan that increases transparency and accountability and boosts funding for rural schools and libraries, where Internet access is more expensive and difficult to build out.

“Instead of slapping a plan together at the last minute after being called out by Republicans and Democrats alike for numbers that didn’t come close to adding up, the commission could have kept its promises, rather than breaking them as it does today,” he said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Hill, Kate Tummarello, 11 Jul 2014

Berkeley pushes for health warning stickers on cell phones
USA Created: 17 Jul 2014
Berkeley City Council is considering a plan to place health warning stickers on cell phones, which might cause health issues ranging from headaches to rapid heartbeat and brain tumors.

The proposition, an ongoing effort of six years, is being pushed for by council members Max Anderson and Kriss Worthington. The city is working with Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard University, to draft the proposal using language that would avoid potential lawsuits.

Six years ago, Berkeley proposed the effort for health warning stickers together with San Francisco. When San Francisco went forward with its proposal, CTIA — The Wireless Association, a trade group representing the wireless communications industry, sued the city for allegedly using “controversial” language in its proposition.

“We’re learning from what San Francisco did so we can do something more effective and reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit,” Worthington said.

The goal is to put the language found in cell phone user manuals in the form of a sticker, where it would be more readily visible to customers, according to Worthington.

“People need to know these things so they can make wise decisions,” Anderson said.

According to Joel Moskowitz, director for the Center for Family and Community Health at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, more than a dozen nations — including Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Israel — have issued precautionary health warnings about the use of cell phones.

“The U.S. has been negligent in dealing with this issue,” Moskowitz said. “It’s long overdue.”

Limiting the exposure of children, teens and pregnant women to cell phones is imperative, as youths have developing brains and thinner skulls, and therefore, the risk of brain cancer is likely to be much greater after long-term cell phone use, according to Moskowitz.

The CTIA argued in the past that implementing health warning stickers would violate the First Amendment. In a recent letter to the city of Berkeley, CTIA claimed the stickers would contradict the authority of federal regulatory agencies that have deemed the devices safe for consumer use.

“We’ve been engaging in denial as a society for a long time. Other countries, particularly in the European Union, have been alerting the citizens and the public,” Moskowitz said, adding that the wireless industry’s response toward cell phone use mimics the tobacco industry’s response to tobacco use in the 1950s.

With the discussion of health warning stickers moved off the council’s July 8 agenda in favor of having Lessig review the proposition’s language and make suggestions, Worthington said he plans for the City Council to vote on the proposition for health warning stickers Sept. 9.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Californian, Lydia Tuan, 16 Jul 2014

How U.S. Supreme Court allowed Corporations to gain Legal Immunity
USA Created: 16 Jul 2014
Thrown Out of Court - or: How corporations became people you can't sue.

Note by editor: This is a long article, but recommended reading.
For the impatient, here are some cliff-notes:

Supreme Court has allowed Corporations to include "mandatory arbitration" and class-action bans in contracts.
Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts.
Arbitration was originally intended as a way to free judges from resolving procedural skirmishes over contracts.
Mandatory arbitration (that all disputes must be settled out of court) has to be agreed upon by both parties entering into a contract and this binding is buried so deep down in the legalize that the public is largely unaware.
In arbitration, the Corporation gets to decide who acts as "judge" and recent Supreme Court rulings have also granted arbiters power to make decisions that are enforceable by law! So this is basically Supreme Court handing Corporations power to write their own laws that real courts must obey. It is a bone-chilling read...


Onwards to the article:

Late last year a massive data hack at Target exposed as many as 110 million consumers around the country to identity theft and fraud. As details of its lax computer security oversight came to light, customers whose passwords and credit card numbers had been stolen banded together to file dozens of class-action lawsuits against the mega-chain-store company. A judge presiding over a consolidated suit will now sort out how much damage was done and how much Target may owe the victims of its negligence. As the case proceeds, documents and testimony pertaining to how the breach occurred will become part of the public record.

All this may seem like an archetypical story of our times, combining corporate misconduct, cyber-crime, and high-stakes litigation. But for those who follow the cutting edge of corporate law, a central part of this saga is almost antiquarian: the part where Target must actually face its accusers in court and the public gets to know what went awry and whether justice gets done.

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings—AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and American Express v. Italian Colors—have deeply undercut these centuries-old public rights, by empowering businesses to avoid any threat of private lawsuits or class actions. The decisions culminate a thirty-year trend during which the judiciary, including initially some prominent liberal jurists, has moved to eliminate courts as a means for ordinary Americans to uphold their rights against companies. The result is a world where corporations can evade accountability and effectively skirt swaths of law, pushing their growing power over their consumers and employees past a tipping point.

To understand this new legal environment, consider, by contrast, what would have happened if Amazon had exposed its 215 million customer accounts to a security breach similar to Target’s. Since Amazon has taken advantage of the Court’s recent decisions, even Amazon users whose bank accounts were wiped clean as a direct result of the hack would not be able to take the company to court. “The lawsuits against Target would almost certainly not be possible against Amazon,” says Paul Bland, executive director of Public Justice. “It’s got its ‘vaccination against legal accountability’ here.”

*SNIP* ..read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Washington Monthly, Lina Khan (w. above comments by H. Eiriksson), 16 Jul 2014

A New Revolutionary Film/DVD: MICROWAVES SCIENCE AND LIES -- See trailer below!
France Created: 15 Jul 2014
For the past ten years worldwide questioning of mobile phone antennas has been increasing. It is based on numerous scientific studies which have revealed the effects of electromagnetic waves on health. Yet, States, industrialists and part of the scientific community claim that health standards protect the public.
By way of following those who launch alerts, citizens, journalists, scientists and electromagnetic hypersensitive people, this film reveals how the mobile phone strategists manipulate science to send out a reassuring message which casts doubts on the knowledge surrounding the harmfulness of this very technology.
The film, which tackles the Wireless Industry from a totally different aspect has been made by: ondesscienceetmanigances.fr/

There are interviews with F.inst. Dr Adkofler and the Investigating Journalist Mona Nilsson

If you are interested in renting/buyng the DVD, you will find instructons on the trailerlink below.
https://vimeo.com/89417454
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Jean Heches/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

England's national parks to get better mobile phone signal
United Kingdom Created: 15 Jul 2014
England's national parks are to get improved mobile phone coverage, following an agreement with the four main UK network operators.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have pledged to minimise the "adverse landscape effects" of any new infrastructure.

The National Parks England director told BBC News any new masts needed would be "sensitively located and sensitively designed".

More than 330,000 people live in the parks, covering almost 10% of England.

The accord, signed by National Parks England and the Mobile Operators Association, is designed to tackle so-called "notspots" - areas in which there is no mobile coverage whatsoever.

National Parks England director Paul Hamblin told BBC News some new masts may be built to bolster mobile signal in the natural environments.

Currently, the radio waves that carry mobile phone signals are often obstructed by the terrain in national parks and can be affected by stone buildings, which are harder to penetrate.

The new agreement outlines plans for "mast-sharing, site-sharing, and any other technical advances" that would help protect the areas' environment while increasing connectivity.

The Mobile Operators Association's executive director, John Cooke, said: "There are compelling social and economic reasons for having good mobile connectivity, including mobile broadband, in rural areas... because such connectivity mitigates the disadvantages of greater physical distances and poor transport links.

"Operators have worked well with National Parks England to ensure that the benefits of mobile connectivity reach communities in these beautiful parts of our country and help them survive and thrive in the 21st Century."

A Mountain Rescue England and Wales representative said the organisation welcomed the move, which could improve safety in the parks, but cautioned against complacency.

"It is always helpful if people have a map and a compass," he said, adding that mobile phones were prone to running out of charge, as well as losing connectivity.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, Joe Miller, 15 Jul 2014

Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe lecture on EHS diagnosis and management
United Kingdom Created: 14 Jul 2014
Diagnosis and Management of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS): Rapid Overview for a mixed audience - presented at the BSEM 2014 conference in London, UK.

Watch the 36 minute video here:
http://vimeo.com/100623585
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BSEM 2014, Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe, 13 Jul 2014

Geoffrey Kabat attacks BioInitiative as "fringe group" in Forbes
USA Created: 11 Jul 2014
New round of attacks from industry apologist Geoffrey Kabat titled: "The New York Times Revisits The "Debate" Over Electromagnetic Fields, Reviving Baseless Fears, While Ignoring What Has Been Learned".

Yesterday, in its Science Times section, the New York Times published a piece by Kenneth Chang titled “Debate Continues on Hazards of Electromagnetic Waves.” The article appears under a new heading “Time Travel,” an occasional column that “explores topics covered in the Science Times 25 years ago to see what has changed – and what has not.”

To fit the new format, Chang referred to a Science Times article from 1989 that discussed the possible adverse health effects from electromagnetic fields (EMF) produced by power lines, electric appliances and machinery, and wiring in the home.

However, in actuality this issue came to prominence ten years earlier, when an article was published claiming that children who lived near power lines were twice as likely to die of cancer as children who were not exposed.

This study was the catalyst for many further studies over the next 3 decades, and many assessments by scientific organizations and health agencies. As a result we have actually learned something about EMF.

But Chang interviewed a professor of public health David O. Carpenter, because he had been interviewed 25 years ago for the Science Times article. Carpenter has long been voicing his concern about EMF, and he tells Chang, “The whole thing is very worrisome. We see the tips of the iceberg, but we have no idea how big the iceberg is. It ought to concern us all.”

According to Carpenter, “Almost nothing has changed in 25 years in terms of the controversy, although the evidence for biological effects of electromagnetic fields continues to grow stronger.”

As the article indicates, much of the concern has shifted away from the extremely-low frequency EMF (ELF-EMF) from power lines and appliances to the higher frequency radiofrequency (RF) waves used by cellular telephones and Wi-Fi.

By getting his update from Professor Carpenter, Chang is getting a highly skewed view of the relevant evidence that has accumulated over the past decades. Carpenter is associated with the Bioinitiative Working Group, a fringe group whose members are convinced that both types of waves (ELF-EMF and RF) are dangerous.

*SNIP* ...read the entire article via the source link below
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Forbes, Geoffrey Kabat, 08 Jul 2014

Effect of Short-Term GSM Radiation at Representative Levels in Society on a Biological Model: The Ant Myrmica sabuleti
Belgium Created: 10 Jul 2014
Abstract: Well-controlled electromagnetic exposure conditions were set up at a representative societal GSM radiation intensity level, 1,5 V/m, which is the legally allowed level in Brussels.

Two nests of the ant species Myrmica sabuleti were repeatedly irradiated during 10 min. before their behavior was observed, based on the analysis of the ant trajectories.

Under these exposure conditions, behavioral effects were detected.

The ants’ locomotion slightly changed. The ants’ orientation towards their attractive alarm pheromone statistically became of lower quality.

The ants still presented their trail following behavior but less efficiently. In this controversial issue, ants could be considered as possible bioindicators.

Related news:
Sep 2013, Sweden: Ants can be used as bio-indicators to reveal biological effects of electromagnetic waves from some wireless apparatus
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Springer.com, Cammaerts et al., 10 Jul 2014

Public Health Impacts of Wireless Radiation -- Flying Blind
USA Created: 10 Jul 2014
As uses and users of wireless transmitting devices are skyrocketing in our homes, schools and even our national parks, one would think that scientific research on the human health and environmental implications of wireless electromagnetic radiation would be exploding with fierce competition. Yet as I write this blog fresh from the Capetown South Africa meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, research funding and training in this field is at its lowest point in modern history in both the government and private sector. Motorola's once vaunted laboratory is no more.

The society awarded its highest accolade to Environmental Protection Agency Senior Scientist Carl Blackman at the meeting. EPA's most distinguished and prolific investigator in the field, Blackman retired just two days after receiving the D'Arsonval Medal. Blackman explained that funds for research in this field at EPA had been wiped out.

This is a tragedy for the field and bespeaks an unfortunate policy direction. Despite the extraordinary growth in wireless transmitting devices, we lack the resources to study their impacts in any systematic way. The absence of research on the health or environmental impacts of wireless radiation should not be confused with proof of safety.

Other presentations highlighted the exciting new field of electro-ceuticals -- where electric current is being applied to treat a range of diseases including cancer. Thus, the biological impact of electromagnetic fields is not in dispute. The meeting also heard presentations showing that cows, bats and carp orient their bodies along lines that reflect the earth's magnetic field. When asked what this might mean for mammalian migration and even for human health, Uwe Bregger, the animal ecologist who presented this work, quipped, "I would certainly never live near a wireless tower."

The issue of exposures to towers is one of many on which we simply have no serious research underway, despite growing public concerns.

The last national survey on exposures to electromagnetic fields in America took place in 1980. Standards for cell phones were set 18 years ago. Would you fly in an airplane that met old safety standards? While the Israelis have established a national institute to evaluate wireless transmitting devices, no serious research is underway in the U.S., excepting one large animal study that was first proposed 14 years ago. In fact, this past week researchers in China published a study on pregnant women planning to have an abortion. Those results are mindboggling: Women with the highest exposures to electromagnetic fields had much smaller embryos.

Conspicuously missing from the Bioelectromagnetics meeting are young students from America. Frank Barnes, member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and mentor to a generation of students, has no funding to continue his groundbreaking work at the University of Colorado showing the impacts of magnetic fields on experimental variability. In 2008, he chaired the committee that presented a National Research Council Report, "The Identification of Research Needs Relating to Potential Biological or Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communications Devices," as requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, identifying research gaps and the critical need to increase our understanding of any potential adverse effects of long term chronic exposure to RF energy on children and pregnant woman. That report identified several important data gaps -- none of which has been addressed in the meantime.

When will the U.S. take action on these recommendations? What research continues in the states appears to be that which cannot be publicly discussed sponsored by the Department of Defense. While none would dispute the value and importance of devising non-lethal uses of electromagnetic weapons, this is one of the few areas where research continues.

One notable instance where the public is poorly informed about the need to promote safer uses involves the rapid proliferation of tablets such as iPads. These devices are tested at a distance of 20 centimeters from a large male adult body. Indeed, tablets are well-named -- they belong on tables and not on laps.

Manufacturers advise that tablets can exceed the "as-tested levels" when held next to the pregnant abdomen or gonads, especially those of children. Yet, advertisements on television and print -- include lovely ads of the Pottery Barn -- tout these products for use by young expectant people holding them close to the body. Of course, these devices also are not tested for use directly against small elementary school students who nowadays hold them tightly to their small frames, often seated with their young organs directly exposed. Recently medical doctors Maya Shetreet-Klein and Hugh Taylor have brought attention through the Baby Safe Project to the fact that pregnancy is a time when special precautions should be taken to keep wireless exposures as low as as reasonably achievable (ALARA)

Our ability to study any of these phenomena is hampered by the lack of funds that propelled Blackman to leave a field he had helped create nearly four decades earlier. Professor Emeritus Barnes rues the situation: "If a young investigator comes to me seeking to work in this field, I have to advise them of the facts. We have no money. There are no incentives to proceed. They are better advised to chose another career focus."

As the former director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, I had to offer similar counsel to students and young faculty.

We can fix this problem. Here's a solution every grandparent can support. The U.S. and the European Union need to implement a five-year program of a dollar-a-phone fee to be paid equally by phone manufacturers, cell providers and consumers to generate funding to train physicians, biomedical researchers and engineers, provide independent research funding, and support monitoring and evaluation of the potential impacts of cell phones and other wireless transmitting devices on our health.

Blackman's retirement is an omen. We have already lost one generation of researchers -- as he recounted. We must invest in ensuring that our growing and important electromagnetic technologies are used and developed to be as safe as possible. Assuming things are safe until we have incontrovertible evidence they are not -- as happened with tobacco and asbestos -- is not a path we can afford to take.

At this point, our failure to develop evidence of harm cannot be regarded as proof of safety.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Huffington Post, Devra Davis phD, 07 Jul 2014

Wireless radiation exposure code 'fails to protect Canadians'
Canada Created: 10 Jul 2014
Health Canada’s proposed update to its safety code for wireless radiation exposure ignores current research and “fails to protect Canadians from their own cellphones,” say experts.

A group of Canadian physicians has written to Health Canada about Safety Code 6, the microwave radiation safety guidelines policy. The federal government has invited public comment on its proposed changes, and the doctors, along with a non-profit group called Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), say they fail to factor in dozens of studies that demonstrate the harmful effects of exposure to everyday technology: cellphones, baby monitors, and even cars and refrigerators.

“Our very strong message is that this safety code fails to protect Canadians from their own cellphones,” Frank Clegg, CEO of C4ST, told an Ottawa news conference.

“It fails to protect children from all-day WiFi in schools, it fails to protect anyone from a cell tower or a smart meter that may be located across the street or outside the window of their home or office building.”

Safety Code 6 was first developed before the Internet existed, Clegg said.

“It is outdated and it failed to keep up with the times,” he said. “More importantly, it has failed to keep up with the established science.”

'Health Canada gets an F'

For its update, Health Canada has ignored more than 130 studies that demonstrate that wireless devices can cause harm even at very low levels, Clegg said. These include links between radiation exposure and cancer, genetic damage, infertility, developmental impairment and cardiovascular health.

“Health Canada gets an ‘F’ for effort on this update to Safety Code 6,” Clegg said.

More than 20 physicians have put their names on the declaration to Health Canada that makes three requests. That the federal agency:

Develop and implement strategies to raise awareness about microwave radiation impacts and minimize exposure in schools and other places where children face regular exposure.
Conduct a comprehensive review of research into the effects of wireless radiation exposure that includes all ages and relies less on industry-funded studies.
Provide guidelines and resources for physicians so they can better recognize symptoms possibly related to microwave exposure.

“There is considerable evidence and research from various scientific experts that exposure to microwave radiation from wireless devices; Wi-Fi, smart meters and cell towers can have an adverse impact on human physiological function,” the physicians write in their submission to Health Canada.

“Many recent and emerging studies from university departments and scientific sources throughout the world support the assertion that energy from wireless devices may be causatively linked to various health problems including reproductive compromise, developmental impacts, hormonal dysregulation and cancer.”

Canada 'a generation behind'

The period of public comment follows the release last April of a report by an expert panel into the adequacy of the Safety Code 6 guidelines.

The eight-member Royal Society of Canada panel was tasked by Health Canada will be reviewing the guidelines and recommending any necessary changes based on the latest research.

"The conclusion of the panel was that the Safety Code 6 limits are science-based and are designed to avoid all known hazards of radiofrequency radiation," said panel chair Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto.

"And we do not believe at this time that additional precautionary measures should be introduced directly into the exposure levels or limits."

However, the panel did say that Health Canada should look more closely at research into whether radiofrequency waves from wireless devices such as smartphones are linked to cancer.

“That certainly is one of the areas that has arisen as a concern," Demers said in April.

Sharon Deoux of Gatineau, Que., lived next to hydro wires for more than 20 years before selling her home. She describes herself as “electro-sensitive” and says she feels pain when exposed to signals from electronics and wireless devices.

“What I feel is difficulty breathing, pressure on my chest, and the pressure can grow so it's really very strong," she told CTV News.

Now she is electronics-free.

“I don't have a microwave oven, anywhere, just an ordinary oven, and fridge, no dishwasher even, because I have a minimum of machines,” she said.

Guidelines updated in other countries

A handful of countries have already updated their guidelines for exposure to wireless radiation, including Russia, China, Italy and Switzerland. In these countries, Clegg said, citizens “enjoy safety limits 100 times more stringent” than in Canada.

If the latest revision to Safety Code 6 is allowed to stand, “it will keep Canada a generation behind when it comes to microwave radiation safety,” Dr. David Carpenter, a U.S. physician and leading expert on the biological effects of electromagnetic radiation, said at the news conference.

“The public’s health and the health of the environment are clearly threatened by the rapidly evolving wireless technologies. But with exposures increasing and coming from so many sources, the cumulative impact of wireless radiation in Canada on human health has the potential to be great, and to be underestimated at present.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: CTV News, Andrea Janus, 09 Jul 2014

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