NYC Plans to Turn 7,500 Payphones Into WiFi Hot Spots Despite Health and Privacy Risks

LinkNYC_accessforallBy Kevin Samson

Awareness continues to increase surrounding the health dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) emanating from our daily gadgets, as well as from the rise of the Smart Grid.  For example, a prominent neuroscientist went on record in a lecture to the medical community itself where he exposed the many health risks as well as an industry-wide attempt by telecom to cover up the negative consequences. A world-renown biochemist is seeking to abolish WiFi in schools. And a British ER physician has made it her mission to educate people about what steps they can take to minimize exposure and damage to WiFi. A slew of peer-review scientific studies support the warnings of these experts.

So what happens when your entire city becomes one giant WiFi signal? Major cities have been planning to do just that, and their plans are now ready to become reality.


Telecom giant Virgin Media announced a pilot program in October to implement “discreet street furniture” and the “UK’s first Smart Pavement” in Chesham, a city of 21,000 people. They stated that their plans were ultimately far more ambitious, seeking “to build more networks like this across the UK.”

But when New York City signs on to pervasive WiFi, we really should pay attention.

The city already has erected one 9-foot-tall structure that is an indication of the rollout of 7,500 WiFi hot spots, which are slated to go online early in 2016. It is part of the LinkNYC program (“Faster Than a New York Minute,” har har) which proclaims to become “the fastest and largest municipal WiFi network in the world.”

Even if you don’t believe having a permanent WiFi signal radiating across the city is a danger to your health, another aspect of pervasive WiFi may be of concern: privacy and surveillance. Naturally, the city has ensured people that the public network will be encrypted. However, there also was an admission that information will be harvested for advertising, albeit anonymized. It’s a familiar refrain from officials, but one that has been proved many times over to be an empty assurance.

For example, it was a major news story when Seattle was discovered to have put in a secret WiFi mesh network funded by Homeland Security.  The discovery led the ACLU to document the ways that residents and visitors could be spied upon while having their movements fully tracked. Although most of the outrage was directed at the secretive nature of the plan, the surveillance component is clearly present as a justified concern. Should one feel comfortable that NYC, which already has a massive surveillance apparatus known as the Ring of Steel, wouldn’t be mainlined into federal databases?

As a side note, there is also new WiFi tracking technology being developed that does not even need a connected device to home in on individuals or groups of people. You can read the chronicle of those developments HERE.

When one considers that more than 3 million people pass through Manhattan alone – daily – the implications of pervasive WiFi are staggering. Moreover, the LinkNYC plan is not a public one; it is being funded by private corporations such as Qualcomm which will alleviate the $200 million dollar cost of implementation. The city of New York will receive half of all profits, however, making the city assuredly reluctant to properly oversee citizen data protection. What was that about the merger of state and corporate power? Oh, yeah: Fascism.

This little device delivers turnkey Internet privacy and security (Ad)

New York is not alone as a major U.S. city with such plans. According to The Associated Press:

Many U.S. cities strove to cover themselves in Wi-Fi in the early 2000s. But a number of the plans foundered as home access proliferated, usage and ad revenues disappointed and some Internet service providers complained the city networks were unfair competitors.

But some cities have recently recast and reinvigorated their efforts. Boston is working to expand a “Wicked Free WiFi” network with over 170 hot spots, and Los Angeles is encouraging private companies to provide free basic wireless to all homes and businesses, with outdoor coverage as a goal. (emphasis added)

But, in reality, this is about more than having super-fast Internet to download your favorite movie in seconds while you wait for the bus, or to boost your business capabilities.  It’s about the rise of fully connected Smart Cities that are multi-use, imposed without debate, and are very easily warped for less than noble purposes. It’s about merging the domestic “Internet of Things” with an industrial smart grid that is part of a technocracy endgame as defined by the UN’s Agenda 21. It is an all-encompassing agenda that has political support and the investment of every major tech company on the planet.

It is imperative that we learn and share what this overall agenda entails, and reveal each piece of the superstructure that is being built in front of us.

Image: LinkNYC

Kevin Samson writes for ActivistPost.com. This article may be freely shared with author attribution and source link.

  • CAWS

    They still have pay phones in NYC? Just like Person of Interest on TV oh boy. Too many people can’t wait for something “free” & convenient for there to be much objection. Maybe the answer is for a competing business selling faraday cages for our houses….

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Insane. Rurally every time you turn around there’s a newer, bigger, more heavily arrayed wifi/microwave tower popped up somewhere you’ve never seen one before. If this doesn’t make you IN-secure then you must be fast asleep.

  • HighMaintenanceLowTolerance

    I’m not very tech-savvy, but I’m learning. Health hazards aside, I’m guessing that these hot spots in public places provide free Wi-Fi. Well, some entity has got to pay the bill. Or do people who want 24/7 Wi-Fi access within a city, simply register to get the password and then pay monthly? The labor and materials to put up the one 9-foot structure in NYC didn’t come free, and neither will the maintenance due to damage from the weather and skidding vehicles on icy streets. I’m guessing the private data that’s being gathered by the city will be sold to whomever will pay and users just line up to donate their portion to Big Brother. The question is, who is financially benefiting from these hot spots?

Thank you for sharing.
Follow us to receive the latest updates.

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter