Smart Meters & The 4th Amendment | Survival Gear Systems
Smart meters make life easier for the electric company and offer nominal benefits to consumers. They also open a (back)door for data aggregation, identifying patterns, and government surveillance.

Last year there was an interesting case involving the citizens of Naperville, Il and their local monopolistic energy company that reached Federal Appeals Court. The company required a transition to smart meters, bought direct from them, and there was no ability to opt-out. Concerned citizens took this case to court and won an admission that smart meters represent a governmental search into your house every 15 minutes.

Yet they were still required to take part in the smart meter program.

Lawyers for the Naperville citizens argued:

“The ever-accelerating pace of technological development carries serious privacy implications. Smart meters are no exception. Their data, even when collected at fifteen-minute intervals, reveals details about the home that would be otherwise unavailable to government officials….Naperville therefore ‘searches’ its residents’ homes when it collects this data.”

“Naperville argues that its citizens sacrifice their expectation of privacy in smart-meter data by entering into a ‘voluntary relationship’ to purchase electricity from the city. This argument is unpersuasive. … a choice to share data imposed by fiat is no choice at all. … a home occupant does not assume the risk of near constant monitoring by choosing to have electricity in her home.”

There is a very key statement within that argument that has relevancy to our business & customers:

Voluntary Relationship

The Federal Courts have stated that your use of the power grid is voluntary, despite no municipal alternatives. This is nothing more than a legal caveat *but* it opens doors for Americans to rely upon their own means of energy production and use. If the relationship between Americans & municipal energy providers is voluntary, then breaking up shouldn't be an issue.

In the Naperville case, the Federal Appeals Court stated that:

The reasonableness of a search under the Fourth Amendment is determined by balancing its intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests against its promotion of legitimate governmental interests.

Any sane & rational person knows there is no legitimate reason for energy readings to happen every 15 minutes, everyday. The arguments presented by the municipal energy provider stated that this would lead to a cost reduction. Yet, prices have gone up anywhere from 3.6 - 8.3% annually; every year since installations were completed in 2013.

What this case provides is insight into the privacy valuations of the courts, monopolistic energy providers, and Americans. On one hand you have Americans who expect their constitutional rights to be upheld, and on the other you have courts/companies who desperately seek to open every back door into your life that is possible.

Little did we know that the power grid was going to be turned into a spying apparatus, but here we are. Fortunately here at Survival Gear Systems we offer both wind & solar power systems that can run your entire day to day house while still offering protection in the event of catastrophe.

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