Compromised privacy and possible violation of the 4th Amendment

Connecting meters and grids to the Internet will enable hacking from thousands of access points, facilitating theft of private information and possible takedown or disruption of entire grids – possibly for years.

Canadian hacking consultant David Chalk said that all technologies are penetrable, facilitating theft of ratepayer electricity and potential harvest of information about ratepayer electricity use for government surveillance in addition to possible criminal activities, e.g. daily habit patterns, electric and electronic devices in use, and whether a ratepayer works at night or is away on vacation.

Former CIA director David Petraeus revealed that governments will use wireless “smart” technology to spy on citizens.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters,”  Petraeus said at a meeting of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm.

He added that this will prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.”

And utilities themselves can be at risk. In 2009 the FBI reported that hacks cost a single U.S. utility hundreds of millions of dollars.

At least one EWEB Commissioner said publicly that he did not care whether the utility knew his electricity usage patterns, he did not view privacy as an issue.  He should poll the ratepayers to see if they agree or NOT.

But first EWEB needs to be more candid about the dangers, risks and threats from DUMs (digital utility meters – how did they become SMART?)

As one Georgetown Law School educated lawyer observed after being introduced to smart meter multifarious problems:  the PRIVACY issue seemed uppermost in his legal overview which is also the reason why, per Sandi Maurer, CA  <> founder reported, that the consensus among ratepayers there was that even if fiber optics had been selected initially by PG&E instead of wireless mesh nets, ratepayers would have STILL opposed smart meters installed in their houses due to PRIVACY concerns.

EWEB should authorize an independent citizen committee or independent analyst to prepare an updated report on smart meters taking into account recent lawsuits and settlements in CA regarding wireless smart meters causing fires, wrongful death out of court settlements, health problems and possible violation of 4th Amendment rights as seen in a Harvard Journal of Law and Technology issue dedicated to Privacy and the Modern Grid