When Houston-area activist Thelma Taormina was allegedly shoved multiple times by a man trying to install a controversial so-called “smart meter” on her home, she had already told the public-utility subcontractor that he was trespassing and to get off her property. When he continued to refuse, Taormina told The New American in an interview, she went inside and got her gun. That worked.
The incident has since become national news. But amid headlines about Taormina’s efforts to stop what she described as an “assault,” little attention was given to one of the key elements in the controversy: the government’s attempt to foist “smart meters” on the American people no matter what citizens think about the devices.
It turns out that there are more than a few reasons why Taormina and other activists oppose the new electricity meters — and why they are willing to go to such lengths to stop them. “My main concern originally was the privacy — as far as I’m concerned this is a surveillance device,” Taormina told TNA, noting that the devices have unprecedented capabilities in terms of monitoring what is going on in the house.
The devices, she said, also have the potential to violate the Fourth Amendment's protection "against unreasonable searches and seizures" by giving officials huge amounts of detailed data about private homes. Such concerns have been expressed repeatedly across the political spectrum in recent years as the “stimulus”-funded meter installers fanned out across America. But officials have largely refused to address the criticism.
“Then I found out that these meters are actually going to relay information through the open air where hackers are able to get all of your information,” Taormina added, pointing to the vast array of data transmitted by the devices. While it may be illegal to intercept the signal, the government is not even capable of preventing identity fraud, let alone smart-meter hacking, she observed.
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Photo of smart meter: AP Images