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Mainers Demand Criminal Investigation into Smart Meter Fees
Mainers Demand Criminal Investigation into Smart Meter Fees
Two dozen smart meter activists from the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters gathered in front of the Public Utilities Commission Thursday requesting Maine’s Attorney General William Schneider open a criminal investigation into smart meter opt out fees.

In a formal letter received Wednesday by Schneider’s office from the Coalition, the group described how in order to avoid health and privacy harms from the detailed information gathering and radiation emitting meters, citizens were forced to pay extortionate fees. The Coalition requested Schneider target Central Maine Power and the Maine PUC in the extortion investigation.

Ed Friedman, one of the five speakers outside the MPUC said:

“If I must pay to avoid actual harm or even the threat of harm, to myself, my family or my property that is extortion. The federal Hobbs Act defines it as: “…the crime of obtaining property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear, or under color of official right.” Maine has a similar definition for theft by extortion. With smart meters, the harm and or threat of harm comes from:

• the emission of RF radiation known to create adverse biological effects,
• the invasion of privacy- facilitating warrant-less search and seizure of individual data by an agent of the government (utility acting under specific orders of the PUC),
• the compromising of personal cybersecurity, and;
• a taking of real property without due process of law or just compensation.”

In order to avoid these and other harms, customers must pay a coercive fee which if not paid can impact their credit scores and lead to disconnection of electrical service.

Other speakers specifically addressed health, privacy and fire hazard harms caused by the meters.

Yesterday’s protest and conference was part of an International Day of Action against Smart Meters that, citing thousands of reported health problems, ‘smart’ meter fires, and violations of privacy laws, called for the immediate halt of smart meter deployments and the recall those already installed.

Posted on Friday, October 5, 2012 (Archive on Friday, October 26, 2012)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre
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