The New York Times lies brilliantly about 5G

Today’s NYTimes includes a breathless-and-yet-duly-fretful look at Kansas City as the “smartest” of America’s “smart cities,” “where technology is seen as a tool to help grow [sic], improve school systems and air quality, and make traffic move faster.” While “hundreds of cities, large and small, have adopted or begun planning smart cities projects,” reporter Timothy Williams tells us, Kansas City has done more than any other in the USA to realize the dream of total digital regulation, or so Williams’ lede suggests:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An algorithm predicts where potholes will emerge so road crews can resurface streets before cracks appear. Dog houses outfitted with cameras and temperature controls provide people a place to leave pets while they’re on a date or at yoga. And on Main Street, if a driver parks too long, a sensor alerts the police and a ticket is issued.

While all that stuff is certainly way cool, the Times is not just hyping it, as that would be completely irresponsible. Let tech nerds, and investors, just gape wide-eyed at all such utopian novelties. The Times is here to let us know that all such progress carries certain “risks,” and that some sage observers of the whole phenomenon are voicing their “concerns” about it all: 

“Experts say cities frequently lack the expertise to understand the privacy, security and financial implications of such arrangements. Some mayors acknowledge that they have yet to master the responsibilities that go along with collecting billions of bits of data from residents.”  

From there, for another 35 paragraphs, Williams variously hints at how those Kansas City changes pose a grave potential risk to privacy. “Cities don’t know enough about data, privacy or security,”complains a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Evidently not. Williams reports that “Sprint, which manages the Wi-Fi  network, contributed about $7 million, while Cisco invested $5 million.” What will Sprint do with the data it collects from users—and, as well, from residents who don’t log on? Sprint “declined” to talk about it. Some in Kansas City’s poorer neighborhoods are troubled by the risk to privacy. “I have a concern about monitoring inner cities in a different way than other neighborhoods,” admits Quinton Lucas, a city councilman. “Is this going to accrue to the detriment of young black men?” 

Williams gives “Mr. Lucas” the last word, as to “whether Kansas City was moving too fast”:

“When you look at the amount of change in the world—and basically we’re operating on a hunch—how are we sure if we are getting the best deal available?” 

That’s a good question: How can the people in Kansas City know if that “smart cities” program is a good deal for them? Certainly that article won’t tell them—because that piece is actually a subtle stroke of propaganda for such programs nationwide. By focusing exclusively on how “smart cities” pose an unappreciated risk to privacy, the article blacks out the vastly graver risk that all such programs pose to public health—a risk that Williams doesn’t even name. 

No reader of that article could know that Kansas City is a parcel of Ground Zero for 5G—aterm that Williams, or his editor(s), has chosen not to mention in his pseudo-thorough survey of those “risks.” Note how Kansas City’s business-heads have belted out the news that Williams dare not even whisper: “Sprint names Kansas City as one of the first cities to test 5G technology,” KC’s Fox-affiliate reported back in May. “AT&T Launches 5G Evolution in Kansas City,” KC’s Chamber of Commerce reported on Oct. 4, three weeks after the Kansas CityBusiness Journal crowed that “5G will change the world—eventually.” 

So, in short, 5G is what that whole “smart cities” plan is all about; so it’s remarkable, to say the least, that Williams doesn’t mention it—as if the Gray Lady wants its readers not to know about it. Certainly the Times, like all the rest of “our free press,” wants everybody not to know the risk that 5G poses to our health—risks that go unmentioned not just in this piece on Kansas City, but, as well, in “5G Is Coming This Year. Here’s What You Need to Know,” the even lessen lightening piece (by Don Clark) that the Gray Lady ran two days ago. While Williams’s piece does note the risk that 5G poses to our privacy (at least in Kansas City), Clark’s piece is all about the “benefits,” as if New Yorkers aren’t concerned about their privacy (and health): https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/technology/personaltech/5g-what-you-need-to-know.html

Although I’ve sent out several pieces on the health risks of 5G, that danger is so great, and the black-out on it by “our free press” so complete, that I’m giving you another one, and an especially hard-hitting one—an interview that Dr. Barrie Trower did last March, with the great British podcaster Richie Allen. Please listen to it, and send it far and wide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnArQm2Bxo4

What Trower tells us is precisely what we need to know, since “5G Is Coming This Year”—and the New York Times is not forewarning us: on the contrary. It’s probably worth noting that Clark’s piece about 5G did not appear in Monday’s actual newspaper, but only ran online, while Williams’ piece today is in the paper-paper. Thus the New York Times is doing everything it can to keep us all in catastrophic ignorance, whether we’re in Kansas City (where 5G couid be threatening our privacy), or in New York (where 5G evidently poses no “risks” whatsoever).  

MCM

In High-Tech Cities, No More Potholes, but What About Privacy?

Commuters on the streetcar in Kansas City, Mo. While the line was under construction, the city also installed fiber optic cable and electronic sensors to monitor traffic.CreditBarrett Emke for The New York Times

Commuters on the streetcar in Kansas City, Mo. While the line was under construction, the city also installed fiber optic cable and electronic sensors to monitor traffic.
Credit Barrett Emke for The New York Times

By Timothy Williams
Jan. 1, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An algorithm predicts where potholes will emerge so road crews can resurface streets before cracks appear. Dog houses outfitted with cameras and temperature controls provide people a place to leave pets while they’re on a date or at yoga. And on Main Street, if a driver parks too long, a sensor alerts the police and a ticket is issued.

In recent months, Kansas City has become an unexpected destination for technology companies looking for a place to test ideas. The city’s goal: To be what it calls a living lab.

Click on the link for the rest.

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