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What is 5G?

Why the push for microcells?

Read What is 5G ? (Tech Talk) in the Overview section of the Primer found here.

Learn more about Millimeter Waves and Health, in the WellBeing section of the Primer found here.

Documents to Read or Download:

1. 5G – From Blankets to Bullets, Arthur Firstenberg |Cellular Phone Task Force| January 2018

“The single most important fact about 5G that nobody is talking about is called “phased array.” It will totally change the way cell towers and cell phones are constructed and will transform the blanket of radiation which has enveloped our world for two decades into a million powerful beams whizzing by us at all times.“

2.  5G is Not the Answer for Rural Broadband

This industry paper explains why 5G has neither the capacity nor the cost-effectiveness to address the rural fixed broadband gap.

3. 5G Network Uses Same EMF Waves as Pentagon Crowd Control System

The corporate-military-industrial complex is in the process of deploying — upon all civilians — millimeter-wave technology linked to weapons programs.

4. Is This a Setback for the Internet of Things? Jamal Carnette | | December 2017

5G is intended to be the ‘backbone infrastructure’ for the IoT. This article explores whether 5G is even feasible.

5. Threats to security, health, public infrastructure – and other potential costs of Canada’s 5G rollout Macleans Magazine, February 2020

6. What You Need to Know About 5G in 2020

The takeaway from this New York Times January 2020 article: “In 2019, AT&T and Verizon, the two largest American carriers, lit up their 5G networks in a small number of cities. Handset makers released only a handful of phones compatible with the new standard. The overwhelming majority of us saw no meaningful improvement to our cellular networks.”

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Should I be concerned about 5G in Space?


Documents to Read or Download:

1. Astronomers Concerns Intensify With SpaceX’s Latest Starlink Launch  Forbes Magazine ~ January 2020

“Hundreds of thousands of 5G-providing satellite mega-constellations are being launched this decade. But there’s an enormous cost to one of humanity’s greatest and oldest resources: the night sky. These swarms of satellites are not only an unprecedented source of light pollution to skywatchers and amateur astronomers, but threaten ground-based astronomy as never before…..

As astronomer Caitlin Casey put it, “The fact that one person, or one company, can take control and completely transform humans’ experience of the night sky, and not just humans, but every organism on Earth … that seems profoundly wrong.”

2. Global 5G wireless deal threatens weather forecasts

Meteorologists including those from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say international standards for wireless technology could degrade crucial satellite measurements of water vapour.

3. More satellites will damage the conditions of Life on Earth

This paper was presented by scientists at the spring 2020 session of the Norwegian national assembly in response to Norway’s plans to launch low earth orbit satellites for 5G.

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Privacy & Surveillance


Documents to Read or Download:

1. 5G hackers: These eight groups will try to break into the networks of tomorrow | Steve Ranger, ZDNet, December 2019

European computer security agency Enisa has listed the groups it thinks are most likely to attempt to hack into 5G networks, warning that security threats to telecoms infrastructure and beyond will expand with the arrival of next-generation mobile connectivity.

2. Cyber-attacks are among top three risk to society, alongside natural disaster and extreme weather, Danny Palmer | Computer Business Review | January 2018

“Nations’ reliance on the internet and connected services means the potential damage from cyber-attacks is one of the biggest risks facing the world today, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).”

3. National Security Implications of 5th Generation (5G) Mobile Technologies

A US Congressional Research Service paper updated in May 2020 explains that fifth-generation mobile data technology can have “many military applications. One such application is for “autonomous military vehicles,” that is, robotic air, land and naval vehicles capable of autonomously performing attack missions without even remote control.

5G will allow autonomous military vehicles to use an external data storage and processing system, similar to the current Cloud for personal file storage. This system can make possible “new military operational concepts”, such as “swarming”, in which each vehicle automatically connects to the others to carry out the mission (e.g. an air attack on a city or a naval attack on a port).

4. Telus plans rollout of 5G network using Huawei technology  CBC News | Feb 13, 2020

Despite the Chinese component maker being accused of stealing state secrets and being an arm of the Chinese government, telecommunications company Telus Corp. says it is planning to roll out its 5G network in the near future using technology from Chinese component maker Huawei.

5. US defence secretary warns Huawei 5G will put alliances at risk  Patrick Wintour | The Guardian | February 15, 2020

At the February 15, 2020 Munich Security Conference, the US defence secretary, Mark Esper, warned that US alliances including the future of Nato were in jeopardy if European countries went ahead with using Chinese Huawei technology in their 5G networks.

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A Climate in Crisis

Read 5G -Buried Deep in E-Waste in the Environment section of the Primer found here.

Documents to Read or Download:

1. Almost everything you know about e-waste is wrong, Josh Lepawsky | The Conversation | May 2018

“No amount of post-consumer recycling can recoup the waste generated before consumers purchase their devices.”

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Will 5G deliver on its promises?

Won’t 5G give us better cell service?

Don’t 21st applications like smart cities, telesurgery, drones, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles need 5G?

Documents to Read or Download:

1. 5G Wireless is the New Fiber Optic Bait-and-Switch Scandal, Bruce Kushnick |Medium | March 2018

According to a Deloitte study, in order to build 5G in the United States, there will need to be a $130-$150 billion dollar investment in fiber to the poles over the next 5-7 years. How and if this will be financed is not yet clear.

2. If they build 5G, the money will come … right? Colin Gibbs |Fierce Wireless | November 2017

“Carriers are plotting their strategies and densifying their networks as they prepare for the highly anticipated arrival of 5G. But how they’ll actually make money from next-generation technologies and services is about as clear as the air in New Delhi.”

3. Impact on Property Values, On the Proliferation of Cell Towers in the Eastern Townships | Canadians for Responsible Placement of Cell Towers

ISED Canada and the telecommunications companies refuse to accept that several factors decrease the values of property where wireless antennas are placed.

4. Rapid growth of automation threatening jobs in Canada, David Hodges | Canadian Press | October 2017

A 2017 report suggests the speed of technological advances is outpacing the rate at which large Canadian businesses and government institutions can adapt, with 35 to 42 per cent of jobs threatened by automation.

5. Robots will destroy our jobs – and we’re not ready for it, Dan Shewan | The Guardian | January 2017

“Two-thirds of Americans believe robots will soon perform most of the work done by humans, but 80% also believe their jobs will be unaffected. Time to think again.”

6. Study: Robots set to displace millions of U.S. workers by 2025, Christopher Matthews |AXIOS | March 2017

A 2017 U.S. research study predicts that if automation proceeds at predicted rates, millions of jobs could be lost while wage growth is reduced by up to 2.6% between 2015 and 2025. 

7. Upgrade to 5G Costs $200 Billion a Year May Not Be Worth It, Olga Kharif and Scott Moritz | Bloomberg | December 2017

5G is being escorted in with much hype and fanfare, but where’s the business case? According to Bloomberg Technology, 5G “may not be worth it”.

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A Climate in Crisis

Documents to Read or Download:

1. 4 reasons Cisco’s IoT forecast is right, and 2 why it’s wrong, Steven Max Patterson | NetworkWorld |  April 2017

An article on the Internet of Things and energy consumption from industry’s perspective.

2. Climate Change, 5G and the Internet of Things     

This 2-page colour fact sheet from Environmental Health Trust shows how the unbridled energy consumption of 5G and the Internet of Things contributes to global climate change. The five blue boxes along the right side of its first page are hyperlinked to research studies. 

3. How smartphones are heating up the planet|The Conversation|March 2018 | Lotfi Belkhir, Associate Professor & Chair of Eco-Entrepreneurship, McMaster University

A report on a recent academic study showing how computer technologies are contributing to climate change.

4. The Environmental Footprint of the Digital World Study

This study, conducted by between December 2018 and July 2019, measures the environmental impact associated with digital equipment on a global scale.  It looks at both the global digital footprint in 2019 and its evolution from 2010 to 2025.

5. The Wireless Cloud, CEET, University of Melbourne

The energy consumption of the “wireless cloud” (the sending of data by wireless means) exceeds the energy consumption of data centres by 10X, as shown in this report from the Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications.

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Can we have fast Internet without 5G?

What if I want faster Internet?

Don’t 21st applications like smart cities, telesurgery, drones, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles need 5G?

Read Wired Fiber: The Smart Choice in the Overview section of the Primer found here

Documents to Read or Download:

1.  A  Fiber Optic Breakthrough Could Beat 5G for Rural Internet Access

In early January 2020, a research team from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology transmitted a signal through a fiber optic cable for 323 miles at 200 gigabits per second, due to a breakthrough in fiber optic technology. This is 20 times faster than the speeds 5G promises.

2. Reinventing Wires

This groundbreaking 2018 report by Dr.Timothy Schoechle of the National Institute of Law and Public Policy explains why hard-wired telecommunications infrastructure supports economic growth, bridges the digital divide and diminishes risks to security, privacy, public health and the environment.

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Dr Martin Pall: The Mechanism of Harm

Why are we told wireless radiation is nothing to worry about?

Read Canada’s Safety Code 6: An Antiquated Guideline in the WellBeing section of the Primer found here.

Documents to Read or Download:

1. 5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects, Joel Moskowitz Ph.D. |  Director Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley, Feb. 22, 2019.          

” With the deployment of fifth generation wireless infrastructure (aka 5G), much of the nation will be exposed to mm Waves for the first time on a continuous basis…. Unfortunately, few studies  have examined prolonged exposure to low-intensity mmWaves, and no research that I am aware of, has focused on exposure to mmWaves combined with other radiofrequency radiation.”

2. Cell Tower Studies

78 Studies Showing Health Effects from Cell Tower Radio Frequency Radiation. Microcells are small cell towers and with the onset of 5G, more and more of them are being placed in close proximity to where we live, work, study, heal and play.

3. Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them,  Martin L. Pall Martin L. Pall Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences| May 17th, 2018

This paper is a summary of the eight pathophysiological effects caused by non-thermal microwave frequency EMF exposures and a review of the scientific literature that provides a substantial body of evidence on the existence of each effect.

4. Compilation of Wireless Science Studies

Grassroots Environmental Education has put together a very useful PDF compilation of studies showing adverse health effects from wireless radiation. The studies are organized by effects.

5. European Parliamentary Briefing – Effects of 5G Wireless Communication on Human Health

This February 2020 document by the European Parliamentary Research Service warns that “Research to date has not addressed the constant exposure that 5G would introduce… Accordingly, a section of the scientific community considers that more research on the potential negative biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and 5G is needed, notably on the incidence of some serious human diseases.”

6. Expert report Christopher J Portier Murray v Motorola 3-1-2021

This expert report for plaintiffs in the lawsuit Murray v. Motorola, was prepared in March 2021 by Dr. Christopher Portier, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and a scientific advisor for the World Health Organization (WHO).

In it, he examines many studies done since 2010 to find “RF exposure probably causes gliomas and neuromas and, given the human, animal and experimental evidence, I assert that, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, the probability that RF exposure causes gliomas and neuromas is high.”                                                                            

7. Newsletter BERENIS – Special Issue January 2021

BERENIS, a group of scientific experts on electromagnetic fields appointed by the Swiss government, did a review of 10 years of research on the biological harm of radiofrequency radiation. In January 2021 they published their findings in this Special Issue Newsletter, and concluded that exposure to a “low dose” of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields may cause “severe health effects” in the young and elderly and in people with immune deficiencies or diseases.

8. Research on the Effects of Wireless Radiation Exposure on the Immune System

This compilation of research on the effects on the immune system from exposure to radiofrequency radiation consists of excerpts from a research review published in 2013 by Dr. Stanislaw Szmigielski in a peer-reviewed journal and a list of references to studies published since 2000.

9. Safety Code 6 Fact Sheet

An in-depth look at why Canada’s Safety Code 6 is one of the least protective radiation protection guidelines in the world and must be revised.

10. Substantial Evidence of Health Harm

A very short hyperlinked document that points to the emerging and historical “substantial evidence” of health harm from wireless radiation.

11. Why how Health Canada & the Wireless Industry Measure Emission Levels is misleading

This diagram, provided by Safe Living Technologies, shows us why the way Health Canada & the wireless industry measure radiation emission levels is misleading.

12. Wireless Hazards-Washington Spectator_ December 2020

This Washington DC-based investigative report offers a big picture glimpse of the regulatory corruption, industry deception and hazards inherent to wireless technology and 5G.

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Who decides if a microcell gets placed by my home?

Read Taking this Issue to Court in the Regulatory section of the Primer found here.

Documents to Read or Download:

1. Legal Issues Related to Autonomous Cars

This 2017 White Paper from the U.S. legal firm Jones Day provides an overview of autonomous vehicles, defines key terms, explains recent pertinent legislation, and summarizes the actions of regulatory authorities in the U.S. and other nations involved in autonomous vehicle development. Special attention is given the intellectual property, privacy and data protection, and product liability issues related to the introduction of these vehicles.

2. The Law, EMF & 5G in Canada: A Summary Document

This document, which was prepared in January 2021, is a layperson’s compilation of legal strategies and precedents intended to help guide Canadian activists and legal teams in taking legal action directed at suspending 5G and the installation of small cell antennas in our communities. It is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide a framework for understanding what is, and exploring possibilities of what could be.

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Documents to Read or Download:

 1. Insurance and Liability Freedom of Information Request Template for Councils in Canada

Use this editable Freedom of Information Request Template to learn if your Council has allowed the installation of uninsured infrastructure where you live. If the Telecom installing the equipment does not have coverage for damages resulting from wireless infrastructure and electromagnetic fields and radiation, then your Council must have a policy that covers this. If they do not, they will be financially liable for any lawsuits resulting from this uninsured wireless infrastructure.

2. Legal Letter from Santa Fe_Small Cells & Liability

When the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico signed an ordinance facilitating the installation of microcells, the Mayor received this letter about liability from a lawyer.

3. Notification of Wireless Harm for Municipal Governments in Canada, Citizens for Safe Technology | October 2017

This document was sent to every municipality in British Columbia in 2017 as a precautionary note against installing microcells. Should lawsuits occur due to damages incurred from microcells installed on city-owned streets, these local governments can’t say they were not warned!

4. TELUS Management Discussion and Analysis 2019 Quarter 1_Excerpts

In this excerpt from their 2019 Management Discussion and Analysis, Telus warns shareholder that litigation due to data theft, electromagnetic radiation, microcell siting issues, and more could eat into their profits and that “Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.”

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Documents to Read or Download:

1. 5G and the Natural World

This 2-page black and white flyer produced by our friends at Americans for Responsible Technology shows how 5G could dramatically alter our natural world. Send it to government bodies and to environmental groups, along with this sample cover letter.

 2. Cell Tower Radiation Affects Wildlife: Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC, Joel Moskowitz Ph.D. | March 2014

In this post, Joel Moskowitz shares a 2014 letter to CTIA, America’s wireless industry organization, from the U.S. Department of Interior that states that the U.S. Federal Communications Commissions’ (FCC’s) standards for cell phone radiation are outmoded and do not adequately protect wildlife.

3. Effect of Millimeter Waves on Peroxidase Activity in Wheat Shoots

This 2013 Armenian-based study suggests low-intensity mmWs cause “peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes” in wheat shoots – a stress protein in plants.

4. EKLIPSE Knowledge Overview Report – The impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on wildlife (flora and fauna)

This scientific Review on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on plants and wildlife was published by the European Union’s Eklipse Biodiversity Project in 2020.

5. More satellites will damage the conditions of Life on Earth

This paper was presented by scientists at the spring 2020 session of the Norwegian national assembly in response to Norway’s plans to launch low earth orbit satellites for 5G.

6. Radio Frequency, EMFs & Health Risks: Animals, Birds, Insects & Plants

This is Section 6 of a vast document called Radiofrequency EMFs and Health Risks prepared by Alasdair and Jean Philips in November 2018.

7. Trees not 5G Campaign Fact Sheet

Use this for a “Trees not 5G” Campaign.

8. Wireless Silent Spring, Dr. Cindy Russell MD | VP Community Health SCCMA | Oct. 2018 

Dr. Cindy Russel examines the effects biologists have found wireless technology has on wildlife and then compares the histories, mechanisms and impacts of pesticides and wireless radiation.

“Our ill-fated desire to control nature as well as our tendency to ignore our own complicity in its destruction for profit was the focus of a seminal 1962 book, ‘Silent Spring.’ This publication is widely credited with ushering in the modern environmental movement…There are many similarities between the silent spring created in cities and farms from pesticides and that of wireless technology with the rapid and widespread adoption of cell towers.”

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Could microcells and 5G effect my privacy?

Documents to Read or Download:

1. Huawei, Big Brother and Technological Destruction, Andrew Nikiforuk |The Tyee | February 2019

“5G is just the latest innovation giving powerful forces more ability to monitor and control our lives.”

2. O.K., Google: How Much Money Have I Made for You Today? Jennifer Szalai | January 2019

A New York Times Book Review on Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

3. Report: Without safeguards, Internet and IoT may create surveillance states in near future, Bradley Barth | SC Media| September 2017

A catastrophic worldwide cyberattack, the emergence of an IoT-enabled surveillance state, and the weakening of encryption were among the chief security and privacy fears expressed by experts who were polled for a sweeping new report about the internet and its future impact on mankind.

4. Silicon Valley siphons our data like oil. But the deepest drilling has just begun, Ben Tarnoff | The Guardian | August 2018

“Personal data is to the tech world what oil is to the fossil fuel industry. That’s why companies like Amazon and Facebook plan to dig deeper than we ever imagined.”

5. The Terrifying Potential of 5G  Sue Halpern | The New Yorker | April 2019

“The future of wireless technology holds the promise of total connectivity. But it will also be especially susceptible to cyberattacks and surveillance.”

6. Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy  Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel | The New York Times | December 2019

“EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files…We are living in the world’s most advanced surveillance system.

This system wasn’t created deliberately. It was built through the interplay of technological advance and the profit motive. It was built to make money. The greatest trick technology companies ever played was persuading society to surveil itself.”

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Documents to Read or Download:

1. Canada’s Cellphone System Vulnerable in Disasters, say Experts, Elizabeth Thompson | CBC News | September 2018

With cell tower backup batteries only lasting a few hours, thousands were left with little or no cell phone service after tornadoes swept through the Ottawa area.

2. Cell Networks Suffer Outages in Harvey’s Wake, Ryan Knutson | The Wall Street Journal | August 2017

Wireless networks along the Texas coast suffered outages as a result of Hurricane Harvey, U.S.federal regulators said, leaving customers in some counties with limited or no cellphone service.”

3. Presently, Over 86% of Cell Sites in Puerto Rico Are Still Not Operating in Aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Cision PR Newswire|October 2017

Published about 10 days after Hurricane Maria, and still 86% of cell sites were not functioning.

4. Small Cells Endanger Electrical Worker Safety and Public Safety, a letter written by Nina Beety to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers | August 2017

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Photo: The New York Times

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Who decides if a microcell gets placed by my home?

Documents to Read or Download:

1. 2021 Flyer C4ST

This flyer is a referenced overview of Canadians for Safe Technology’s report, C4ST Fact-checks Government of Canada Webpages Regarding Health Risks and Wireless Technologies, including 5G.”

Currently, the Government of Canada provides assurances that exposures to radiofrequency (RF) energy (=radiation) from 5G technologies and from everyday wireless devices such as cell phones and cell tower antennas are safe. Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST) has fact-checked some of these statements and found them to be inaccurate and misleading to the point of being “misinformation.”


A look at reported lobbyist communications from February 2020  to February 2021 between Canada’s big telecom companies and government officials through the publicly searchable lobbying registry reveals that big telecom lobbies Ottawa twice a day.

3. C4ST Fact-checks the Government of Canada’s Websites

Currently, the Government of Canada provides assurances on its webpages that exposures to radiofrequency (RF) energy (=radiation) from 5G technologies and from everyday wireless devices such as cell phones and cell tower antennas are safe.

In this document, Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST) fact‐checks some of these statements and finds them to be inaccurate and misleading to the point of being “misinformation.”

4. Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is Dominated by the Industries it Presumably Regulates, by investigative journalist Norm Alster in collaboration with the Harvard Centre for Ethics| 2015

It is these hardball tactics that recall 20th century Big Tobacco tactics. It is these tactics that heighten suspicion that the wireless industry does indeed have a dirty secret. “

5. How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe

A 2018 Special Investigation by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie of The Nation that uncovers the disinformation campaign—and massive radiation increase—behind the 5G rollout.

6. World Health Organization: setting the standard for a wireless world of harm, Olga Sheean | Jan 2017

“The World Health Organization should be the ultimate authority on health-related matters. Nations and institutions look to you for guidance…but you have failed to live up to your mandate. You claim to be promoting health yet, with regard to EMFs, you are promoting harm.”

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Our Children

Digital Detox Challenge

Documents to Read or Download:

1. Eliminating the Human, by David Byrne of the Talking Heads | MIT Technology Review |August 2017

“When interaction becomes a strange and unfamiliar thing, then we will have changed who and what we are as a species.”

2. ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia, Paul Lewis|The Guardian | October 2017

“Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks alarmed by a race for human attention.”



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