No one, not the police, not a private company, not a private individual has the right to put you under surveillance without a court order

Beware the Smart Electric Meter—It’s Coming for YOU!

By —— Bio and Archives--October 20, 2011

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Many electric companies have installed “Smart Meters” on homes all over the country, and they plan to do the same with every house in America, including yours. These nifty little electronic wonders track when you turn something on or off, and how many watts your appliances pull. They also have the added feature of being radio transmitters, and as such, they send the record of electric usage over wireless networks that bounce from smart meter to smart meter to its final destination, a computer at the electric company.


The data they collect shows the electric company a variety of things like when you’re at home, sleeping, on vacation, or have visitors. They can see when you turn on your computer, have a cake in the oven, or if you may be running a business out of your home. In short, it gets inside your home and monitors your living patterns.

Such personal surveillance amounts to a warrantless search, a clear violation of our 4th Amendment rights. And it goes on continually, day after day.

Once the electric company receives the data, they store it and have the freedom to sell it to whomever they please or provide it to the police upon request. In fact, because smart meters are radio transmitters, anyone can intercept the data. In essence, you might as well be living in a glass house.

No case on smart meters has gone to court yet, but if it ever does, I wonder how they’ll reconcile the right to privacy the Supreme Court read into the 4th Amendment as the basis for Roe v. Wade with the electric company’s “need to know.”

You can tell if you have a smart meter on your home if you look at the meter and find that it has a “1-WATT” written on the label. In addition, it will say that it’s been licensed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

Currently, police in Texas, Ohio, British Columbia and other places, routinely use electronic data to find marijuana grow houses, enforce business licenses and other laws. Unusual power patterns get the attention of the electric company and the police consider it probable cause to raid a residence for a variety of violations.

If you don’t already have a smart meter and the electric company comes to your home to say they’d like to install a new meter, you don’t have to give your consent. They don’t tell you they’re installing a smart meter, yet if you give your consent, they consider that you have agreed to the surveillance device.

If you already have a smart meter on your house, you can send the electric company a certified letter requesting its immediate removal. And if you want it removed, make sure you keep reminding them to come and change it out, since I’m sure they’ll drag their feet on this little work order.

No one, not the police, not a private company, not a private individual has the right to put you under surveillance without a court order. They can’t install a wiretap without such an order and this device is no different.

Check out your meter today. If it’s a smart meter, get smart and get it gone.


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Joan R. Neubauer -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joan R. Neubauer, is an author, public speaker, and works as the Public Liaison Officer for the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Associationin Alpine, Texas.

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