FCC, DNA, Sperm Counts & Cyber-Spooks

Author: Cell Phones Could Cause Damage Beyond Brain Cancer KTVU Ch. 2

SAN FRANCISCO — Cell phone use could cause substantial damage to the human body beyond brain cancer, an author who has written about cell phone safety said Wednesday.
Cell phones could damage users’ DNA, reduce their sperm count, and increase memory loss, said Devra Davis, who authored “Disconnect,” a book on cell phones and cancer.
“Cell phones can cause a number of serious diseases,” Davis said. She said phones could cause Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss. She presented precautionary tips.

Dr. Devra Davis talks to the media
after her lecture at San Francisco’s
Commonwealth Club as cellphone-
caused brain cancer survivor,
attorney Bret Bocook waits his turn
to tell his story.

The Pentagon’s New Cyber Warriors

by Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON – Guarding water wells and granaries from enemy raids is as old as war itself. In the Middle Ages, vital resources were hoarded behind castle walls, protected by moats, drawbridges and knights with double-edged swords.
Today, U.S. national security planners are proposing that the 21st century’s critical infrastructure — power grids, communications, water utilities, financial networks — be similarly shielded from cyber marauders and other foes.

FCC changes cellphone safety tips
…The move comes amid a growing debate over cellphone safety and coincides with efforts in some jurisdictions – most notably San Francisco – to require wireless providers to more clearly state the radiation emissions of the phones they sell.

The revisions were made last week, without any formal announcement, to a consumer fact sheet posted on the FCC’s Web site. Consumer advocates criticized the agency for what they called a lack of transparency.

“A secretive change like the one that was just made raises questions of collusions with industry and does not help make the change credible,” wrote wireless industry consultant Michael Marcus in a blog on Public Knowledge, a public interest site.

An FCC representative declined to comment.

In its revised guidance, the FCC said that data on a phone’s radiation emissions is not a useful gauge of the risk posed by any device. The updated language omitted a previous suggestion that users buy phones with lower specific absorption rates, a measure of the rate of radio-frequency energy absorbed by the human body. The FCC now says that any phone approved by the FCC has passed its absorption tests and is safe.

The FCC’s new stance corresponds with the cellphone industry’s arguments against San Francisco’s ordinance and similar proposals elsewhere. The wireless trade group CTIA has said that phones with a specific absorption rate of 1.0 are not necessarily safer than devices with a rate of 1.6 – the national limit – and said that how a phone is used is a more meaningful gauge.

CTIA has filed a lawsuit against San Francisco seeking to block the ordinance, which would take effect in February, saying the measure would harm companies including Apple, AT&T, Verizon and Motorola. The group has sent executives to speak at hearings on other cellphone labeling proposals under consideration in Maine and California.

Eric Schmidt: Google implant anyone?
Schmidt was talking to The Atlantic about the possibility of a Google implant – a chip under your skin that would track you and provide easy web access. That, Schmidt said, was probably over ‘the creepy line’.

However, he followed that by saying: “With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”

Some might argue that that is over the line too but Google will only read your mind “with your permission”, so that’s a relief.

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