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Obituary: Leading EMF expert Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D
USA Created: 18 Jun 2018
Dr Martin Blank, PhD, who made many lasting contributions to the scientific community, has passed away of natural causes at the age of 85. As a leading expert on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, Dr. Blank was a strong advocate for the use of science to create a better and healthier world.

Throughout his lengthy career, Dr. Blank published over 200 papers and reviews, authored numerous books, held appointments at 11 leading universities around the world and the US Office of Naval Research. He also organized and led many meetings, including two World Congresses on Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine, and he started the Gordon Research Conferences on Bioelectrochemistry. He has been Chairman of the Organic and Biological Division of the Electrochemical Society, President of the Bioelectrochemical Society, President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and has been on editorial boards of Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, Electromagnetic Medicine and Biology. In 2014 his book, “Overpowered” (7 Stories Press), which summarized his findings regarding the potential dangers of electromagnetic radiation, was published.

Through his work, Dr. Blank established himself as one of the strongest voices globally in the quest to better understand and regulate the health effects of electromagnetic fields.

Breaking new boundaries

Dr. Blank was born in New York in 1933 as the child of immigrants, Leon and Rebecca. English was the third of five languages in which he became fluent.

An early interest in science led him to be accepted to the Bronx High School of Science, after which he proceeded to complete two PhDs: one in physical chemistry from Columbia University, and a second in colloid science – an interdisciplinary field involving chemistry, physics, and nanoscience – from Cambridge University.
In his early career, he studied the biological membranes that encase living cells and the effects of electric fields on such membranes. In 1987 he read a paper by Dr. Reba Goodman, a colleague at Columbia University, that suggested everyday EMFs like power lines and electrical appliances had an effect on living cells. At that time, only ionizing forms of radiation like X-rays were acknowledged as harmful to humans.

Intrigued, Dr. Blank approached Dr. Goodman about her findings and initiated what was to become a long and fruitful scientific partnership. Though their research contradicted the accepted paradigm of the day, they continued to push boundaries, demonstrating observable, repeatable health effects of EMF on living cells.

Their results were published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and were subsequently confirmed by other independent scientists around the world.

Acting with conviction

Dr. Blank’s research into EMFs repeatedly showed that non-ionizing radiation does affect human cells. He believed that it would be in our best interest to take stronger precautions, as a way of securing a healthier future, and that there would be nothing to lose by taking such action.

“You take a certain amount of precaution as a result of a risk that has been identified,” Dr. Blank said at the 1st public forum in the U.S. on EMF effects on Children, Fetuses, and Fertility in 2013. “The risk can turn out to be a false alarm, in which case you haven’t lost anything really; what you’ve done is prevented damage that might have occurred might it have been so.”

He wrote letters to schools, companies, and government bodies – ardent letters laying out solid research-backed reasons why they should take precautions around EMFs; not chiding them for their practices but giving them helpful council on what they could be doing to better protect the community.

In 2015 he led a publicized appeal to the United Nations and World Health Organization, calling for greater attention to the health risks of EMFs. 190 scientists from around the world took part in the appeal, unified in their beliefs that the scientific research around electromagnetic radiation was not only compelling but urgent.

In conjunction with his conviction and willingness to act, Dr. Blank was also acutely and realistically aware of the world we’ve built for ourselves and of the advantages of technology. He didn’t seek to eradicate wireless devices or take steps backward, but rather to find a healthy balance between technological progress and human health.

“My message… is not to abandon gadgets—like most people I too love and utilize EMF- generating gadgets,” he wrote in his 2014 book, Overpowered. “Instead, I want you to realize that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures and that industrial and product safety standards must and can be reconsidered.”

Lasting impact

Throughout his career, Dr. Blank held many leadership roles — including terms as President of the Bioelectrochemical Society, and Chairman of the Organic and Biological Division of the Electrochemical Society — gave hundreds of speeches and lectures, edited various journals, and sat on the organizing committees of numerous conferences and world congresses.

Dr. Blank also had a knack for translating complex scientific concepts into a language anyone can understand. His rigorous research reports generally served the scientific community and his 2014 book Overpowered (7 Stories Press) offered all readers, inaccessible and captivating prose, the information they needed to better protect their health.

In this way, his work has had a broad impact, reaching the general public as well as his many pupils, colleagues, and the scientific community.

He will be remembered as someone who fought against the private, profit-driven efforts of industries to obscure information from the public; and as someone who welcomed genuine discussion and criticism as catalysts for true scientific progress.
The goal of Dr. Blank’s work was not to generate fear or cause alarm but to use rigorous and objective research to get closer to the truth. And, ultimately, to use this truth to secure ourselves, and future generations, a healthier future.

Dr. Blank is survived by his wife, Marion, sons, Jonathan and Ari, daughter, Donna, and his siblings Esther and Efrom.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations shall be made to the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, for which Dr. Blank was an advisor.
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Source: EMF Safety Alliance, 13 Jun 2018

Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health (review)
USA Created: 18 Jun 2018
Abstract: Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload.

Each of these effects are also caused by exposures to other microwave frequency EMFs, with each such effect being documented in from 10 to 16 reviews. Therefore, each of these seven EMF effects are established effects of Wi-Fi and of other microwave frequency EMFs.

Each of these seven is also produced by downstream effects of the main action of such EMFs, voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. While VGCC activation via EMF interaction with the VGCC voltage sensor seems to be the predominant mechanism of action of EMFs, other mechanisms appear to have minor roles. Minor roles include activation of other voltage-gated ion channels, calcium cyclotron resonance and the geomagnetic magnetoreception mechanism.

Five properties of non-thermal EMF effects are discussed. These are that pulsed EMFs are, in most cases, more active than are non-pulsed EMFs; artificial EMFs are polarized and such polarized EMFs are much more active than non-polarized EMFs; dose-response curves are non-linear and non-monotone; EMF effects are often cumulative; and EMFs may impact young people more than adults.

These general findings and data presented earlier on Wi-Fi effects were used to assess the Foster and Moulder (F&M) review of Wi-Fi. The F&M study claimed that there were seven important studies of Wi-Fi that each showed no effect. However, none of these were Wi-Fi studies, with each differing from genuine Wi-Fi in three distinct ways. F&M could, at most conclude that there was no statistically significant evidence of an effect.

The tiny numbers studied in each of these seven F&M-linked studies show that each of them lack power to make any substantive conclusions. In conclusion, there are seven repeatedly found Wi-Fi effects which have also been shown to be caused by other similar EMF exposures. Each of the seven should be considered, therefore, as established effects of Wi-Fi.
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Source: National Institute of Health, Pall M, 18 Jul 2018

Santa Rosa continues 'pause' on Verizon small-cell project
USA Created: 7 Jun 2018
Santa Rosa is still unwilling to let Verizon Wireless install antennas and wireless equipment on city light poles, putting the carrier’s plans to boost network coverage in the city on hold indefinitely.

The City Council on Tuesday reaffirmed the “pause” it placed on the project in March, saying the way the company had managed the rollout of “small cell” wireless gear on wooden utility poles in the city was a cause for concern.

Mayor Chris Coursey said the company “did a really lousy job of outreach” to neighborhoods where gear has been installed on Pacific Gas & Electric poles, making him hesitant to partner with the company on the portion of the project involving city-owned poles.

“They ran, in my estimation, roughshod over some of these neighborhoods, in putting these things in, because they could,” Coursey said.

The council has found itself caught in the middle of a wider battle raging between wireless carriers seeking to deliver better wireless telephone and data services to the city and residents who worry about the aesthetic and possible health impacts of such equipment so close to their homes.

Councilman Jack Tibbetts called the evidence for health risks from the technology “inconclusive,” but said he represented residents of Santa Rosa, not Verizon, and needed to respect the fears of his constituents.

“I don’t want a resident to go to bed at night and put their head on a pillow worried about what’s going on outside their window,” Tibbetts said.

A half-dozen Verizon officials attended the Tuesday council meeting, an indication of how seriously the company takes the controversy.

Spokeswoman Heidi Flato said the carrier was disappointed with the outcome, but will “continue working closely with council members and city staff to overcome obstacles to implementing this much-needed wireless infrastructure.”

Danna Diamond, a company real estate specialist, told the council that the nation’s wireless telephone infrastructure is the “backbone of our society now,” allowing people to stay connected to their children and work from home. She said 52 percent of homes now have no landlines, 76 percent of 911 calls are now made from a cellphone, and 64 percent of those are made from inside a building.

As cellphone usage has exploded, carriers have needed to “densify their networks” by adding new transmission equipment closer to the users, and “small cell” technology, which operates at higher frequencies and are better able to deliver high-speed data.

“The average household has 13 connected devices,” Diamond told the council.

Verizon says its service in the city is spotty, especially inside homes in residential areas, and the new small cells will work in conjunction with existing larger “macro” towers throughout the city to improve coverage and capacity.

Much of the city has cell coverage, but with people using smartphones, the data demands on the network have increased, resulting in connection delays, explained Radha Sharma, senior real estate manager for Verizon.

It’s a case the company has been making to communities across the county. Last year, the company reportedly spent more than $10 billion on such installations.

“Small cells are needed to meet exploding consumer demand for data, drive innovation, create new jobs, and fuel new services and capabilities such as smart communities, connected cars, smart farming, and the Internet of Things,” Verizon explained in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

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The company had hoped to install about 70 small cells in Santa Rosa — 40 on wooden PG&E poles, over which the city has little say, and 30 on city street light poles, over which the city has total control.

The company moved forward with installing equipment on PG&E poles with little notice to residents, and the push back was fierce from both local residents and passionate anti-wireless activists.

Judith Monroy, a former resident of Link Lane, accused Verizon of “dishonestly and duplicity” when it quickly installed over the holidays a series of boxes and exposed wires on the PG&E pole outside her home, as well as a battery pack in a large metal cabinet.

“That was 20 feet from where I sit and read in my living room, maybe less,” she told the council.

Following publicity of such complaints, Verizon removed the battery cabinet and painted the gear brown to blend in better with the wooden pole.

Monroy said she nevertheless had difficulty selling the home earlier this year.

Bill Coset, a resident of the Neotomas Avenue area in Bennett Valley, advocated the city take a cautious approach, allowing the company to install a few of its small cells, then hiring a third-party to monitor them before allowing more.

“It just seems like we are giving Verizon a super-saturated coverage instead of adequate coverage,” Coset said.

Such concerns clearly influenced the council, which didn’t formally vote on the issue but made it clear it wanted to extend the pause. Only Councilman John Sawyer expressed concern about the move.

Sawyer said he worried less about the health impacts of wireless technology and more about allowing the city’s wireless infrastructure to stagnate, harming the city’s competitiveness.

“What concerns right now is the technological disadvantage that we might be placing ourselves in by not moving forward,” Sawyer said.

Councilman Chris Rogers said he, too, supported the pause, but wasn’t pleased about the city’s limited leverage over the company.

“Right now, at best, the pause has been bad for Santa Rosa, the reason being that it has not stopped the installation of these small cells,” Rogers said.

At last count, the city had approved 39 of 41 applications Verizon had filed for small cell installations on PG&E poles. City officials said they had little leeway in approving such requests, and are limited by state public utilities law to regulating installation issues, such as construction safety and traffic control.

Plans by Verizon for small cell installations on 30 streetlights remain on hold, as do plans by Mobilitie for small cells on 20 streetlights. Mobilitie hopes to build a network to lease to a carrier.

AT&T has not applied to the city yet, but Eric McHenry, the city’s director of information technology, said he knows the company is active in the space, citing its recent deal to pay San Jose $5 million over 15 years to install small cells on 170 light poles.

Santa Rosa, by contrast, estimates that 200 small cells on city poles would generate fees of $70,000 per year, or about $1 million over 15 years.

Councilmembers urged city staff to explore ways to regulate small cells, which are considered 4G technology, especially given that 5G gear is considered to be right around the corner.

Julie Combs noted that she is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and can reach up and touch the gear installed recently on a PG&E pole, gear she said she hopes the city can find a way to regulate, despite legal hurdles.

“It is remarkably ugly,” she said.
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Source: The Press Democrat, KEVIN MCCALLUM, 06 Jun 2018

New 5G network with ubiquitous antennas raises health concerns among some
USA Created: 7 Jun 2018
As more and more devices become wireless, the push is on to provide networks on which they can quickly operate.

That’s why the industry is now laying the groundwork for the 5th generation network — called 5G as it’s more commonly known.

But, some are concerned about technology and the need for millions more 5G receiver/transmitters has reignited the debate over the safety of radio frequency radiation, which has caused organizations like the American Cancer Society to weigh in.

The 5G network will offer faster speeds for data and streaming but the way that technology will get to us has some worried about potential health concerns.

Right now, the industry is spending over $56 billion to create the network that will be at least 10 times faster than current 4-G and work on all kinds of wireless devices including appliances and self-driving cars.

Right now, 5G deployment is limited to test areas.

The new 5G network uses high-frequency waves to support faster speeds, but those signals don't travel as far as current wireless frequencies.

They also are more susceptible to blocking by buildings and other solid obstructions. So, to combat that, the 5G network will rely on "small cell" sites that are much closer together instead of using large cell phone towers spread apart.

Because the 5G signals don’t travel as far, that means 5G sites will be almost as ubiquitous as utility poles and with all those transmitters spewing radio frequencies, some are worried about the health effects.

Scientists are now racing to determine if 5G tech is dangerous.

At the moment, the government says research into health effects of radiation has been inconsistent.

According to the National Cancer Institute, "a limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cellphone use and brain tumor risks, but most studies have found no association.”

The National Toxicology Program is now doing research into cell phone radiation. It’s released draft conclusions for two technical reports, one was for rat studies. There is also a report about mouse studies on radio frequency radiation.

To conduct the studies, The National Toxicology Program built special chambers that exposed rats and mice to different levels of radio frequency radiation for up to two years.

Exposure levels ranged from 1.5 to 6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) in rats, and 2.5 to 10 W/kg in mice.

The low power level for rats was equal to the highest level permitted for local tissue exposures to cellphone emissions today.

The animals were exposed for 10 minute on, 10 minute off increments, totaling just over nine hours each day.

The studies used 2G and 3G frequencies and modulations still used in voice calls and texting in the United States.

It did not use the frequencies used by 4G, 4G-LTE, and 5G networks for streaming video and downloading attachments because those systems use different cellphone signal frequencies and modulations.
As that research continues, the availability of 5G wireless devices is still a year or two away.

And because 5G signals aren’t as effective — cellphones are likely to get larger to hold the antennas necessary to make them work.

Some experts say some cellphones might even have an antenna stub sticking out of them — like those seen in the 1980s -- in order to make the 5G devices work effectively.
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Source: CBS17, Steve Sbraccia, 05 Jun 2018

Radiation from Cell Phones, Wifi Are Hurting the Birds and the Bees; 5G May Make It Worse
USA Created: 22 May 2018
Technology is quite literally destroying nature, with a new report further confirming that electromagnetic radiation from power lines and cell towers can disorientate birds and insects and destroy plant health. The paper warns that as nations switch to 5G this threat could increase.

In the new analysis, EKLIPSE, an EU-funded review body dedicated to policy that may impact biodiversity and the ecosystem, looked over 97 studies on how electromagnetic radiation may affect the environment. It concluded this radiation could indeed pose a potential risk to bird and insect orientation and plant health, The Telegraph reported.

This is not a new finding, as studies dating back for years have come to the same conclusion. In fact, one study from 2010 even suggested that this electromagnetic radiation may be playing a role in the decline of certain animal and insect populations. The radio waves can disrupt the magnetic “compass” that many migrating birds and insects use. The creatures may become disorientated, AFP reported.

The electromagnetic radiation also interrupted the orientation of insects, spiders and mammals, and may even disrupt plant metabolism, The Telegraph reported.

As a result of this most recent finding, the UK charity Buglife urged that plans to install 5G transmitters may have “serious impacts” on the environment, The Telegraph reported. For this reason, it suggests these transmitters not be placed on LED street lamps, which would attract insects and increase their exposure.

5G is a fifth generation wireless technology that transmits data at high speeds. It is used by phone towers to make phone calls, text messages and to browse the internet.

In addition, the charity called for further studying of this threat.

"We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied,” said Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife, The Telegraph reported.

In the United States, AT&T plans to be the first to have 5G available, and will launch the network in 12 cities by the end of the year, PC Mag reported.
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Source: Newsweek, Dana Dovey, 19 May 2018

American Cities Are Fighting Big Business Over Wireless Internet, and They’re Losing
USA Created: 21 May 2018
“It’s often lost on the public just how badly they’re being screwed”.

Big business is quietly trouncing cities in the fight over the future of the internet. The results of an obscure, bureaucratic battle inside the U.S. communications regulator could decide not only which Americans get ultra-fast internet but how much it’ll cost and even what city streetlights will look like.

On Wednesday, a committee created by the Federal Communications Commission will meet to frame the future of 5G, a technology that will make downloads dramatically faster on phones and perhaps replace home broadband for some. The group, with representatives of the business world outnumbering government officials four-to-one, may push for a vote on guidelines that have been under debate for more than a year.

It will be the first summit since Shireen Santosham and her boss quit in dismay. The city of San Jose, where Santosham works as chief innovation officer, resigned in late January from the wonky-sounding board, called the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. New York City later followed. The process came to embody a nationwide effort by telecommunications companies, like AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp., to establish business-friendly rules for their industry, Santosham and other city officials allege.

The FCC, with guidance from the committee, could make rules that will influence how 5G mobile internet is priced, how quickly it spreads around the country and whether local governments must subsidize the cost. The 5G system is meant to replace today’s mobile wireless technology, making it easier to stream high-definition video anywhere and enable new kinds of apps. The cellular networks will use frequencies that carry a lot of information but don’t travel very far. That means antennas need to be close together and will number in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. They’ll be closer to shops and homes than today’s arrays atop cell towers.

The influence of Big Telecom inside the FCC has already spread into state capitols. More than a dozen states, mostly in Republican strongholds, have passed laws borrowing similar language from the 5G committee. U.S. lawmakers are drafting legislation along similar lines. “This is the biggest movement in broadband that we’ve seen in recent history,” Santosham said.

Santosham, a former McKinsey consultant, has been one of the most vocal agitators against the country’s telecom giants over the past year. Her office led committee work on behalf of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat selected to join a year ago. She served as his official proxy. The initiative was billed as a way to bring cities, states, companies and interest groups together to devise guidelines for updating telecom infrastructure, a move that paves the way for self-driving cars and a world where every device connects to the internet.

An hour before the FCC introduced the group to the public in April 2017, Santosham said she learned San Jose would be the only city represented. Eventually, the agency added officials from Lincoln, Nebraska, and Lenexa, Kansas, but they have always been outnumbered by corporate suits.

Elizabeth Bowles, president of an internet provider in rural areas of Central Arkansas, was appointed chairman in July after the resignation of her predecessor, another telecom executive who was later arrested on an unrelated fraud charge. A few months into Bowles’s tenure, the group was deadlocked on most major issues. Cities and corporate representatives couldn’t agree on prices for installing 5G beacons on government property such as streetlights. An even bigger point of contention: Companies and the FCC have expressed desire for “shot clocks,” a basketball metaphor that would automatically give carriers permission to install beacons if negotiations with cities aren’t resolved in a timely manner.

“The problem with the debate is everyone is entrenched into their sides,” Bowles said. “Every single member of the committee will have something in those documents that they don’t like. That’s what a compromise is. If AT&T is thrilled with it, then we didn’t do our job.”

Too often, officials say, AT&T got its way. As committee members were returning from New Year’s festivities, they got an email from Douglas Dimitroff, a telecom attorney and chairman of one of the group’s city-focused subcommittees. “We have made substantial changes to the last version,” he wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg through a public records request. Then he thanked Chris Nurse, a senior executive at AT&T who proposed hundreds of revisions, according to a copy of the draft.

Santosham protested. Sam Cooper, a senior technology adviser to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, wrote: “Shotclocks. Object.” Even a telecom consultant said the revisions were unfair, tilted in favor of wireless companies like AT&T at the expense of cable providers like Comcast Corp. “AT&T has generally driven the bus,” said Angela Stacy, a committee member who’s vice president at a software company for cities called Connected Nation Exchange.

“The criticism speaks for itself — it’s baseless,” Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday in an interview. “I’m not going any further.” FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has accused some officials of trying to “impose their will or extract bounties from providers” and suggested San Jose was seeking “high rents and fees.” AT&T said in an emailed statement that the city-focused working group had unanimously consented to a plan that will be presented to the full committee on Wednesday.

But that group now excludes San Jose and New York. Amid the fracas, Santosham asked San Jose’s mayor to write a letter to the FCC. Together, they attended the committee hearing in late January, and he resigned soon after. A cadre of state officials voiced their opposition to the process in a letter on April 6. “The ideas being generated are overwhelmingly lopsided” and create a “windfall for companies,” wrote John Betkoski, president of NARUC, a national association representing state commissions.

New York withdrew this month and embraced a popular conservative talking point to convey their frustrations: federalism. “It’s really the whole package of trying to preempt local governments from managing public-owned lands,” said Cooper, the adviser to New York’s Democratic mayor. “We couldn’t say in good conscience that these recommendations would be good for cities or localities to adopt.”

Committee work was unglamorous, but Santosham said it could be stimulating. Members would talk on the phone for hours at a time and exchange emails, debating the anodyne decisions that make up much of local telecom regulation. The relationship was usually friendly, Santosham said.

But as corporate interests took over, officials who stuck around could be seen as endorsing the results. Cities can have more sway over technology deployment than many people realize. For instance, they pushed carriers to offer access to fast internet in low-income neighborhoods, said Gerard Lederer, a lobbyist on behalf of cities. “The reason that the vast majority of Americans today have access to high-speed broadband is not because of FCC policies and not because of things at the state level. It’s because of local governments,” he said.

Withdrawing from the process, however, means ceding some of the most influential internet policy work in years. The results will likely serve as something the FCC will “refer to as they make decisions for the next year, five years, ten years,” said Brent Skorup, a member of free-market think-tank The Mercatus Center who sits on the committee.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the committee is expected to discuss proposals for city and state code, including shot clocks. There remain fundamental disagreements, which may take time to reconcile, said Bowles, the chairman. The committee will meet again in July. Bowles dismissed concerns over departures. “I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy with the fact that you’re outnumbered, you should take your ball and go home,” she said.

For San Jose, the march toward 5G continues without the FCC. On Monday, the city struck an agreement with AT&T to install about 200 small-cell devices for 5G on light poles in exchange for $5 million in lease revenue over 15 years. Perhaps the worst part of the whole process, said San Jose Mayor Liccardo, is that most Americans aren’t paying attention: “When you’re talking about complex issues of technology and regulation, it’s often lost on the public just how badly they’re being screwed.”

— With assistance by Todd Shields
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Source: Bloomberg, Eric Newcomer, 25 Apr 2018

US cell carriers are selling access to your real-time phone location data
USA Created: 18 May 2018
The company embroiled in a privacy row has "direct connections" to all major US wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- and Canadian cell networks, too.

Four of the largest cell giants in the US are selling your real-time location data to a company that you've probably never heard about before.

In case you missed it, a senator last week sent a letter demanding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigate why Securus, a prison technology company, can track any phone "within seconds" by using data obtained from the country's largest cell giants, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, through an intermediary, LocationSmart.

The story blew up because a former police sheriff snooped on phone location data without a warrant, according The New York Times. The sheriff has pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful surveillance.

Yet little is known about how LocationSmart obtained the real-time location data on millions of Americans, how the required consent from cell user owners was obtained, and who else has access to the data.

Kevin Bankston, director of New America's Open Technology Institute, explained in a phone call that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act only restricts telecom companies from disclosing data to the government. It doesn't restrict disclosure to other companies, who then may disclose that same data to the government.

He called that loophole "one of the biggest gaps in US privacy law."

"The issue doesn't appear to have been directly litigated before, but because of the way that the law only restricts disclosures by these types of companies to government, my fear is that they would argue that they can do a pass-through arrangement like this," he said.

LocationSmart, a California-based technology company, is one of a handful of so-called data aggregators. It claimed to have "direct connections" to cell carrier networks to obtain real-time cell phone location data from nearby cell towers. It's less accurate than using GPS, but cell tower data won't drain a phone battery and doesn't require a user to install an app. Verizon, one of many cell carriers that sells access to its vast amounts of customer location data, counts LocationSmart as a close partner.

The company boasts coverage of 95 percent of the country, thanks to its access to all the major US carriers, including US Cellular, Virgin, Boost, and MetroPCS, as well as Canadian carriers, like Bell, Rogers, and Telus.

"We utilize the same technology used to enable emergency assistance and this includes cell tower and cell sector location, assisted GPS and cell tower trilateration," said a case study on the company's website.

"With these location sources, we are able to locate virtually any US based mobile devices," the company claimed.

A person's precise location can be returned in as little as 15 seconds, according to another case study, and data is usually not cached for longer than two minutes.

Other companies then buy access to LocationSmart's data -- or the data is obtained by a customer of LocationSmart, like 3Cinteractive, which is said to have supplied location data to Securus.

But LocationSmart hasn't said how it ensures its corporate customers protect the location data to prevent abuse and misuse. A spokesperson for LocationSmart did not return an email with several questions sent prior to publication.

Companies buy into LocationSmart's location data for many reasons. Sometimes it's to help locate a nearby store, or to send a marketing text message when a person visits a rival store. Location data can even be used by companies to track deliveries or shipments, or by banks to fight fraud, such as if a person is making card transactions miles apart within just a few minutes of each other.

In any case, the company requires explicit consent from the user before their location data can be used, by sending a one-time text message or allowing a user to hit a button in an app.

LocationSmart also said it allows some customers to obtain "implied" consent, used on a case-by-case basis, when "the nature of the service implies that location will be used." The company said one example could be when a stranded motorist calls roadside assistance, and the event implies the person is "calling to be found."

The company even has its own "try-before-you-buy" page that lets you test the accuracy of its data. With a colleague's consent, we tracked his phone to within a city block of his actual location.

The data aggregator said it has access to carrier network location data "because privacy is built into its cloud-based platform."

While that may be true, the requirement to obtain a person's consent collapses if a search warrant for that data is issued. That's exactly how companies like Securus can reveal location data without asking a person's permission.

According to a Nebraska state government document, an application "can also be configured -- with carrier approval and appropriate warrant documentation -- to retrieve location data without the user opting-in." Securus was able to return real-time location data on users without their consent because the system required a valid order be submitted first.

However, as the The New York Times reported, Securus never verified orders before spitting back results.

We reached out to the four major US carriers prior to publication. We asked how each carrier obtains consent from customers to sell their data and what safeguards they put in place to prevent abuse.

Sprint spokesperson Lisa Belot said the company shares personally identifiable location data "only with customer consent or in response to a lawful request such as a validated court order from law enforcement."

The company's privacy policy, which governs customer consent, said third-parties may collect customers' personal data, "including location information."

Sprint said the company's relationship with Securus "does not include data sharing," and is limited "to supporting efforts to curb unlawful use of contraband cell phones in correctional facilities."

When asked the same questions, Verizon spokesperson Rich Young provided a boilerplate response regarding Securus and would not comment further.

"We're still trying to verify their activities, but if this company is, in fact, doing this with our customers' data, we will take steps to stop it," he said.

AT&T spokesperson Jim Greer said in a statement: "We have a best practices approach to handling our customers' data. We are aware of the letter and will provide a response." Our questions were also not answered.

A spokesperson for T-Mobile did not respond by our deadline.

"It's important for us to close off that potential loophole and that can easily be done with one line of legislative language," said Bankston, "which would also have the benefit of making every other company careful about always getting consent before disclosing your data to anyone."

Ron Wyden, a Democratic senator from Oregon, called on each carrier to stop sharing data with third parties. Wyden argued the sharing "skirts wireless carriers' legal obligation to be the sole conduit by which the government may conduct surveillance of Americans' phone records."

In a blog post, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said law enforcement may be violating the law by not seeking data directly from the phone carriers. "Law enforcement shouldn't have unfettered access to this data, whether they get it from Securus or directly from the phone companies," said the EFF.

Wyden has also called on the FCC to investigate the carriers for allegedly not obtaining user consent.

The FCC has not said yet if it will investigate.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ZDnet, Zack Whittaker, 14 May 2018

EMF Dangers Censored
USA Created: 18 May 2018
Are Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, and cell phones attacking our health? Numerous studies are showing those “crazy” researchers who have been warning of EMF’s dangers to our health—from brain tumors to infertility and more—for years may not have been so crazy after all.

Cellphones, laptops, microwave ovens, and other fancy devices have become almost a necessity of modern life, as well as a convenience. Wireless connections, known as Wi-Fi, are increasingly ubiquitous. All this high technology depends on a kind of microwave radiation known as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, RF-EMF. Ten or 20 years ago, this was rare and almost unknown. Now we are all exposed to it, even our children. But is it safe? The evidence shows it is not.

According to a major review in The International Journal of Oncology, those who do not use cellphones face a lifetime risk of brain tumor of approximately one in 167. But for those using cellphones, the risk is one in 128. This would seem to indicate cellphones (and presumably other Wi-Fi devices) cause tumors and likely cancer, but some (especially industry spokesmen) say the link is still unproven.

Two 2017 reviews, however, add to the evidence, showing a 33% to 46% increased chance of brain tumors on whichever side of your head you habitually hold your phone.

The radiation penetrates a few inches or about halfway through an adult’s head. But for a small child, the radiation can penetrate right through the head. An added concern for children is that they may be using cellphones for many decades over their lifetimes, compared to today’s adults who may experience many fewer years of exposure. Thus, the chance of tumors and cancer developing in children increases due to their increased years of exposure.

RF-EMF radiation, unlike nuclear radioactivity, does not damage DNA directly but can damage DNA indirectly by creating free radicals, which can damage DNA and cell membranes.

Some scientists are advocating the World Health Organization should “bump up” the warning about cellphones from “possible carcinogen” to “probable carcinogen” or even “known carcinogen,” at least for brain cancer and inner ear tumors.

Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., of “” advises those who use a cellphone, “It’s best to use a headset or the speakerphone option and limit the time children use [such devices].”

A hands-free operational mode, including Bluetooth headsets, reduces brain exposure by a factor of 100 or more.

And don’t use so-called anti-radiation gizmos that may actually worsen things by causing your phone to boost the signal.

It may be wise to keep your phone turned off when not in use or expecting a call, and to avoid placing it in the vicinity of your head or genitalia. One study found sperm motility to be reduced by 8% in men using cellphones. This may be a result of carrying the phone in a trousers pocket. There is also evidence using a laptop on your lap, if you are a man, can result in damage to your reproductive organs.

Some population studies found increased risk, while others did not. Interestingly, it was studies funded by the telecommunications industry that had about 10 times less likelihood of finding adverse effects. This can be compared with industry-funded studies done on pharmaceutical drugs (about four times as likely to not find adverse effects of their product), or tobacco—where a whopping 88 times the likelihood was noted. A similar, but more extreme, bias was found in studies of the dangers of nuclear power plants such as Chernobyl.

Don’t expect the government to warn you of these dangers, as they are influenced by the industry, which wants to pooh-pooh the hazards possibly associated with their products.
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Source: American Free Press, John Tiffany, 17 May 2018

Show Me the Studies! “The Nation” Resurrects an Old Controversy
USA Created: 8 May 2018
George Carlo is back - Again.

He has a leading role in an exposé in The Nation magazine, where he is portrayed as the inside man who was hired to run a $25 million health research project for the telecom industry and was later fired when he found out that cell phones present a cancer risk.

At least that’s what Carlo wants you to believe. The truth is a lot messier and a lot less favorable.

I revisit this old story because two seasoned reporters for The Nation call my views "preposterous."

Read my challenge for Carlo to settle the dispute by releasing a list of the 50 studies he says he sponsored during the 1990s here:

And read my (second) response to The Nation here:
Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin PhD, 07 May 2018

Are Electromagnetic Fields Keeping Your Patients/Clients Sick?
USA Created: 1 May 2018
The Problem: The severe lack of serious, credible, evidence-based education on how EMFs fit in the functional medicine healing puzzle.

The Solution: Just like mold, heavy metals, water quality and air quality, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are an environmental toxin you cannot ignore.

According to Dr. Klinghardt, one of the top pioneers in functional medicine, “the MOST overlooked factor in healing is to create a clean electromagnetic environment for patients/clients.”

Even though there’s no denying the topic is still controversial in medicine, an overwhelming amount of studies have now linked excessive EMF exposure with cancer, autoimmunity, infertility, neurological symptoms, chronic fatigue, and poor sleep.

And for the first time in History, health practitioners have access to focused, evidence-based education on how to add EMFs as an environmental factor in the functional medicine healing puzzle.

*SNIP* Read the rest at the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Electrosmog RX, Nicolas Pineault, 01 May 2018

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