The city has decided to forcibly install “smart meters” over the objections of homeowners who consider them as invasions of privacy. Here’s what Wikipedia says (read between the lines):

Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter. (my emphases added)

Why would anyone object to that? After all, according to city officials in Naperville, Illinois, such meters will make the city’s electrical system more efficient and reliable and will reduce utility bills. Who could be against that? Well, enough are against it that the city was meeting with enough resistance that they had to take cops off their beats to accompany installers to insure their safety, because “previous installation attempts were met with some resistance and we wanted to ensure our employees’ safety.”

One resister, Jennifer Stahl, had put a padlock on her fence to keep the installers out. When the installers arrived along with the police, the police cut the padlock and entered her property without permission. When Stahl blocked access to the meter with her body, she was arrested and charged.

Here’s the issue. A report from National Geographic (!) noted:

In theory, the information collected by smart meters could reveal how many  people live in a home, their daily routines, changes in those routines, what types of electronic equipment  are in the home, and other details. “It’s not hard to imagine a divorce lawyer subpoenaing this information, an insurance company interpreting the data in a  way that allows it to penalize customers, or criminals intercepting the information to plan a burglary,” the private nonprofit Electronic Frontier  Foundation noted in a blog post about smart meters.

Adding insult to injury, homeowners in Naperville get to pay for the privilege of potentially being spied upon by their government: “There is a $68.35 initial fee for the … meter plus a $24.75 monthly fee for reading it.”

Stahl isn’t backing down. She’s filed a suit against the city, and it’s making headlines. She said, “I have not done the work of attempting to educate the community and advocating for the right of anybody in Naperville to refuse the smart meter just to stand off to one side [while they violate my rights].”

Sounds like another fighter to me.

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