If You Don’t Like Human Rights Abuses in Russia and China, Can You Say Covid and U.S. Telecom?

By Patricia Burke

The Business and Human Rights Resource Center is publishing reports of governments around the world implementing policies in the wake of Covid-19 that abuse human rights.

SOURCE: https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/asia-covid-19-pandemic-must-not-serve-as-an-excuse-to-vilify-defenders-who-champion-rights-based-approaches-in-business-practices

In Asia, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre & Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development noted,

The COVID-19 pandemic must not serve as an excuse to vilify human rights defenders who champion rights-based approaches in business practices.

Asian civil society and defenders met yesterday warning that opportunistic governments in Asia are expanding their power under the guise of COVID-19 to protect businesses who activities have led to environmental, human rights abuses and attacks on activists.

‘In just three months, FORUM-ASIA has recorded over 50 cases of violations[1] involving nearly 150 human rights defenders and their families across 14 Asian countries,’ said Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director.

Nearly six months into the pandemic, human rights challenges across Asia which existed pre-pandemic, are more glaring.

‘Economic recovery has been centered in most Asian countries’ pandemic responses at the expense of fundamental rights in an already restricted civic space. COVID-19 restrictions, including restrictions on movement and public gatherings, have been used by governments to clamp down on civil society and human rights defenders, especially those working on labour, land and environmental rights,’ Shamini said.”

SOURCE: https://www.forum-asia.org/?p=31897

In Russia It Is About Garbage, Lack of Community Consultation, and Lack of Environmental Assessment

Ella Skybenko wrote:

As we all adjust to a ‘new reality’ of living with the pandemic, this is being increasingly used by governments and many companies in Eastern Europe to perpetuate human rights abuses and intimidate human rights defenders. It seems that in COVID-19, both governments and companies now have an additional tool at their disposal to ignore or suppress any form of dissent, especially when the business interests of ruling elites are at stake. And this tool is used not only by authoritarian countries in the region, but also by potential candidates for EU membership.

A recent response by Russian authorities to the ongoing waste disposal protests is a good example of how COVID-19 is used to continue intimidating human rights defenders. The protests are among the most sustained since Vladimir Putin came to power almost two decades ago. Thousands of people in different regions of Russia have been marching against planned landfills and waste incineration plants concerned about adverse environmental and health impacts.

Protesters allege the landfills and plants are controlled by a so-called ‘garbage mafia’ that consists of officials linked to the Kremlin. In 2018, the company “Khartia”, (allegedly owned by Igor Chaika, the youngest son of the Russian Prosecutor General), won a 500 million EUR contract to handle waste disposal in the region surrounding Moscow.

Another example is from Georgia. On 23 March, the Georgian government introduced a state of emergency, by adopting Resolution #181, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Three days later the Resolution was amended by adding a paragraph on rules for issuing environmental decisions. The amendment restricts the ability of the public to participate in two stages of environmental decision-making: scoping opinions and environmental decisions on projects that are subject to Environmental Impact Assessment.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has recently renewed environmental permits for controversial Neretvica River Small Hydropower Plants without notifying local NGOs or residents. According to the Aarhus Center, the concept of “renewed” environmental permit does not exist in the Federation’s Law on Environmental Protection. This means the assessment process should have been started from the very beginning again, but this did not happen.

In April and May, the Republic of Srpska authorities exempted two companies (Marvel and Delaso) from carrying out environmental impact assessments for some of the upper Neretva hydropower plants and the Hotovlje hydropower plant.

These are just a few examples of how governments and businesses across Eastern Europe use the COVID-19 pandemic as a blatant excuse to pursue interests that often result in significant harm to workers, human rights defenders, and local communities. In this new reality, the role of civil society in protecting and advancing human rights in the private sector has become more important than ever.

SOURCE: https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/in-eastern-europe-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-being-used-to-attack-human-rights-defenders

China: More Base Stations to Address Economic Impact of Covid

Fierce Wireless reported:

China carriers will deploy a total of 500,000 5G base stations this year, Chinese press reported, citing information provided by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The increase in 5G infrastructure has the main aim of boosting the digital economy in China, according to the report.

By the end of March, Chinese operators had already installed 198,000 5G base stations and had 50 million 5G users, the Chinese government said said.

“5G, as an important engine of the digital economy, is a key new infrastructure to realize the interconnection of all things and devices,”  Wen Ku, a MIIT spokesman reportedly said.

“It has an important role in steadily investing, promoting consumption and helping upgrades in the face of the huge impact of the pandemic,” Wen added.

SOURCE: https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200424/5g/china-deploy-500000-5g-base-stations-this-year-report

Everywhere: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: Surveillance, Censorship & Privacy

In response to the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, governments worldwide are adopting a host of measures to track and monitor infections and counter disinformation. To contain the outbreak, some countries are deploying sweeping surveillance networks, personal mobile phone tracking, and Artificial Intelligence and facial recognition technologies. At the same time, governments are taking steps to tackle the rapid spread of false and misleading information which has accompanied the outbreak on social media – labelled by the World Health Organization as a  massive ‘infodemic’ – which threatens to undermine efforts to counter the outbreak. Social media companies have also taken steps to tackle false claims and direct users to accurate information.

However, there are fears that authorities may be using the threat of infection and disinformation as a pretext to disproportionately increase surveillance capacities, crack down on fundamental freedoms and justify heavy censorship that muzzles independent sources of information, in addition to legitimately harmful content.

SOURCE: https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/covid-19-coronavirus-outbreak/covid-19-coronavirus-outbreak-surveillance-censorship-privacy

Who defines misinformation? Social media companies aligned with the wireless industries?

For example, in the U.S. and elsewhere

  1. 5G health fears were misrepresented as fear that 5G transmitted covid, rather than portraying the historical record of 5G health concerns accurately, including concerns about millimeter waves not addressed by 30-year-old FCC guidelines
  2. Legitimate health concerns are ridiculed and portrayed as conspiracy theory
  3. 5G tower arson was attributed to 5G opposition groups committed to non-violence
  4. 5G posts were widely censored, and 5G opposition groups were removed from Facebook.

In the United States, dual use wireless surveillance/telecommuncations technology received a boost in the media and from politicians promoting the need for broadband to address the digital divide, highlighted by school children with lack of home internet access during the lock-down.

Schools are now embracing the concept of surveillance tech for social distancing in the wake of Covid-19:

SOURCE: https://www.wired.com/story/schools-surveillance-tech-prevent-covid-19-spread/

U.S. Telecom and Covid, Garbage, Lack of Community Consultation, and Lack of Health and Environmental Assessment

The telecom and wireless industry is using the crisis to secure regulatory change that favors the industry at the expense of people and planet…

Reported today by Benton:

FCC Acts to Accelerate Deployment of 5G Wireless Infrastructure

The Federal Communications Commission took action to facilitate the deployment of 5G networks across the US by clarifying and seeking comment on the FCC’s rules regarding state and local government review of modifications to existing wireless infrastructure. June 9’s action will expedite equipment upgrades to deploy these next-generation networks, which are critical to expanding economic opportunities and supporting public health and safety in American communities. Congress enacted section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act of 2012 to streamline state and local government review of certain requests to modify wireless transmission equipment on existing structures, and the FCC in 2014 adopted rules to implement section 6409(a). Under this framework, a state or local government shall approve within 60 days any request for modification of an existing structure that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of that structure.

https://www.benton.org/headlines/fcc-acts-accelerate-deployment-5g-wireless-infrastructure

FCC Proposes Expanding Access to 70/80/90 GHz Spectrum Bands

The Federal Communications Commission voted to initiate a proceeding to make more efficient use of additional millimeter-band spectrum resources, including for the provision of wireless backhaul for 5G and the deployment of broadband services to aircraft and ships. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC explores new and innovative commercial uses of the 71–76 GHz, 81–86 GHz, 92–94 GHz, and 94.1–95 GHz bands, collectively known as the 70/80/90 GHz bands. These 70/80/90 GHz bands are unused or underused in large parts of the country with current use of the spectrum primarily concentrated along a few high-traffic routes.  The action taken June 9 is another step in the agency’s comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan).

https://www.benton.org/headlines/fcc-proposes-expanding-access-708090-ghz-spectrum-bands

FCC Adopts Bidding Procedures For October’s $16 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

The Federal Communications Commission adopted procedures for Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction (Auction 904), which will award up to $16 billion in support over 10 years for the deployment of fixed broadband networks to millions of unserved homes and businesses across rural America. The $20.4 billion RDOF is the FCC’s most ambitious step ever toward bridging the digital divide. It prioritizes bids for higher speed—up to 1 Gbps—and lower latency networks, and more than doubles the minimum speed from the FCC’s 2018 Connect America Phase II auction to 25/3 Mbps.

Bidding in the auction will begin on Oct 29, 2020, with the application window for potential bidders opening on July 1. The Public Notice adopts application procedures to ensure that bidders have the business experience and financial means to deploy broadband networks and intend to use a network technology that will allow them to meet performance requirements. FCC staff will closely scrutinize applications to ensure that all applicants are proposing to use technologies with demonstrated success in providing mass market retail broadband to consumers to ensure taxpayer funding is not wasted. Phase II of the RDOF will make available at least $4.4 billion, in addition to unallocated funds from Phase I, to target partially served areas using precise, granular broadband coverage data being developed in the FCC’s Digital Opportunity Data Collection proceeding along with areas not won in the Phase I auction.

https://www.benton.org/headlines/fcc-adopts-bidding-procedures-octobers-16-billion-rural-digital-opportunity-fund-auction

Regarding the question of whether your neighborhood will house even more new wireless infrastructure, NATE,  the Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association noted,

NATE member companies perform tower co-location equipment and network upgrades on a daily basis and today’s affirmative vote by the FCC will provide much needed clarity and flexibility needed to streamline these deployment activities, make additional existing tower infrastructure eligible for these upgrades and ultimately bring more 5G services to communities and consumers across the country,” said Jim Goldwater, director of legislative and regulatory affairs, for NATE.

SOURCE:  https://www.multichannel.com/news/d-c-weighs-in-on-fcc-5g-buildout-item

American Enterprise Institute published a blog today: “Coronavirus, 5G, and the Restoring Internet Freedom Order: Highlights from my conversation with Joel Thayer.”  Joel Thayer is an attorney at Phillips Lytle and an expert on telecommunications, regulatory and transaction matters, privacy, and cybersecurity.

He stated,

The FCC has [ } done three key things

One, they had carriers take a Keep America Connected pledge, which we’ll go into in a little bit.

Secondly, they opened up a lot of spectrum to augment our Wi-Fi footprint and increase capabilities, especially for wireless internet service providers or WISPs.

Lastly, they implemented a lot of subsidy programs that have been focused primarily on telehealth capabilities and also connected education. (paraphrased)

https://www.aei.org/technology-and-innovation/coronavirus-5g-and-the-restoring-internet-freedom-order-highlights-from-my-conversation-with-joel-thayer/

Is 5G About Telehealth and Addressing the Broadband Divide, or Is it About Surveillance and Warfare?

The intended uses of 5G as a military weapon were reported this week by Global Research:

At Red Flag 2021, 5G relocatable cell towers, that can be set up and taken down in less than an hour, will be probably already operating to be tested in a real environment. Nellis base is the fifth base selected by the Pentagon to test the military use of 5G: the others are located in Utah, Georgia, California and Washington State.

A document from the Congress Research Service (National Security Implications of Fifth Generation 5G Mobile Technologies, 22 May 2020) explained that this fifth generation mobile data transmission technology could have “numerous military applications”.

One of these applications concerns “autonomous military vehicles”, that is robotic aerial, land and naval vehicles capable of autonomously carrying out attack missions without being remotely piloted. This procedure requires the storage and processing of a huge amount of data that cannot be carried out only onboard the autonomous vehicle. 5G will allow this type of vehicle to use an external data storage and processing system, similar to today’s Cloud for personal file storage.

Such a system can make possible “new military operational concepts”, such as that of “swarm” in which each vehicle automatically connects to the others to carry out its mission (for example, an aerial attack on a city or a naval attack on a port).

5G will allow the entire command and control system of the United States armed forces to be strengthened worldwide: currently – the document explained – they use satellite communications, but due to distance, the signal takes some time to arrive, causing delay in the execution of military operations. This delay will be virtually eliminated by 5G.

5G will play a decisive role particularly in the use of hypersonic weapons which travel at speeds exceeding 10 times that of sound also equipped with nuclear warheads.

5G will also be extremely important for secret services, making control and intelligence systems much more effective than those currently used.

This also happens in other countries. It is therefore clear that the 5G dispute, especially between United States and China, is not only part of the trade war. 5G creates a new field for the arms race, which takes place not so much quantitatively but qualitatively.

SOURCE: https://www.globalresearch.ca/5g-arms-race/5715138

Speaking of the FCC Promoting Telehealth, is 5G Safe?

In this 8-minute video, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt explains how aluminum from the chemtrails, glyphosate from Monsanto-tainted food, fluoride, and the frequencies of wireless radiation all come together to form the perfect recipe for shutting down the pineal gland and cutting us off from Source.

Lost in the rush to monetize covid, telehealth and connectivity advantages will be safer, faster, and  more secure with wired connectivity.

Over 300 civil society organizations signed a statement condemning mining industry COVID-19 response.

We, the undersigned organizations, condemn and reject the ways that the mining industry and numerous governments are taking advantage of the pandemic to manufacture new mining opportunities and establish a positive public image, now and for the future. These actions pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of communities and organizations

that have been struggling to defend public health and their environments against the destruction and devastation of mining extractivism for decades, as well as to the safety of workers in the mining sector.

One: Mining companies are ignoring the real threats of the pandemic and continuing to operate, using any means available…

Two: Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures to shut down legitimate protests and promote the mining sector…

Three: Mining companies are using the pandemic as an opportunity to hide their dirty track records and present themselves as public-minded saviors…

Four: Mining companies and governments are using the crisis to secure regulatory change that favors the industry at the expense of people and planet…”

SOURCE: https://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/files/global_solidarity_statement_on_mining_pandemic_profiteers_0.pdf

Like mining, telecommunications companies and governments are using the crisis to secure regulatory change that favors the industry, at the expense of people and planet.

Not to be forgotten the impact of 5G,

on extractive mining,

excessive energy consumption,

and e-waste,

is unparalleled.

Time to connect the dots?

Has there ever been an example of adequate safety, health, and environmental testing for weapons of war marketed as consumer products?

Tell Congress to hold hearings on the FCC!

The FCC’s human exposure guidelines for RF microwave radiation were adopted back in the 1990s.  Over the past twenty-four years, thousands of independent scientific studies have demonstrated serious biological harm from exposure to wireless radiation. But on April 1st, the FCC announced it had reviewed all the science, and was sticking with its old guidelines!

In the late 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted human exposure guidelines for radio-frequency microwave radiation (“wireless radiation”) emitted from cell phones and other wireless devices. The guidelines were based primarily on studies from the 1980s showing that radiation from cell phones had no biological effects, only thermal (heating) effects.

At the time, that claim was strongly disputed by independent scientists, since they had already demonstrated DNA breaks and other biological harm from prolonged exposure. And over the past  twenty-four years, hundreds of new studies have documented and confirmed those findings.

As the scientific evidence mounted and the proliferation of wireless devices grew exponentially, government agencies, public health advocates and research scientists advocated for a review of the FCC’s guidelines. Finally, in 2013, the FCC relented, opening an official inquiry into the adequacy of its human exposure guidelines and inviting public comment.

Hundreds of comments were submitted, many by leading epidemiologists and cancer researchers from around the world. Hundreds of scientific studies and papers were submitted, documenting adverse health effects from exposure.

The FCC delayed any action on the inquiry for years, claiming it had been overwhelmed by the response. Nevertheless, under mounting pressure from Congress to release its findings and decision, the FCC finally published its official announcement in the Federal Register on April 1, 2020. The agency said that it had reviewed all of the studies and decided to leave its old guidelines in place.

There was no mention of who, exactly, at the FCC reviewed the studies. The agency has no official health division or expertise in public health. Many of the studies submitted were conveniently dismissed without review for not meeting criteria established by the FCC. In short, the FCC, notorious for its imperious attitude and powerful defense of its decisions, came to the amazing conclusion that it was right 24 years ago about human exposure to wireless radiation, and it’s still right!

This is a matter of public health and safety. We think Congress has an important role to play here, and it’s high time Congress held hearings on this issue. Let’s have the FCC explain, in an open and public forum, exactly how they came to the conclusion that their long-outdated guidelines are just fine for protecting American lives, especially the youngest ones.

SIGN THE PETITION: https://www.5gcrisis.com/fcc

Patricia Burke works with activists across the country and internationally calling for new biologically-based microwave radio frequency exposure limits. .

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