Homeowners reject unconstitutional intrusion

Source: Paul Joseph Watson

A Harris County woman pulled a gun on a CenterPoint Energy worker to prevent the installation of a smart meter in a confrontation that highlights concerns about the devices being used to spy on Americans’ energy use, as well as possible health impacts.

55-year-old Thelma Taormina has signs posted on her front gate warning utility employees not to trespass on her land, as well as another that reads, “No smart meters are to be installed on this property.”

However, that didn’t stop a CenterPoint Energy worker from attempting to replace Taormina’s old electricity meter with a new device that wirelessly beams back information on each home’s energy use to a central hub.

When the worker began physically pushing Taormina out of the way in an effort to install the smart meter, Taormina drew her gun and demanded the worker leave the property .

“Our constitution allows us not to have that kind of intrusion on our personal privacy,” Taormina told KHOU 11 News. “They’ll be able to tell if you are running your computer, air conditioner, whatever it is.”

Indeed, privacy experts have warned that smart meters could be used to spy on consumers in a myriad of different ways, including “what appliances are being used in individual homes, and even what programmes are being watched on TV.”

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) warns that the rollout of smart meters will allow “massive collection of personal data” by utility companies and governments, tracking what “households do within the privacy of their own homes, whether they are away on holiday or at work, if someone uses a specific medical device or a baby monitor, or how they spend their free time”.

Taormina and her husband also expressed fears about the potential health impacts of the smart meter.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine and other health bodies have voiced concern about potential damaging effects of radio waves emitted by the smart meters and have have urged a moratorium on installing the devices.

The group recently warned that people suffering from “neurological, neurodegenerative diseases, genetic defects, cancer, and other conditions,” should avoid smart meters because they could be “adversely impacted by electromagnetic frequency (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF) fields,” emitted by the devices.

The Public Utilities Commission is now debating whether to allow homeowners who have already had smart meters installed to have them removed. In other areas of the country, utility companies are forcing residents to pay an extra charge to stay on conventional analogue meters.

CenterPoint Energy is now threatening to take Taormina to court over her actions in forcing the utility worker off her property.