* Police Radio's 'V' Officers health - Down-trodden tech companies still give campaign dollars (25/10/02)

Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens' Initiative Omega)

Police Radio's 'V' Officers health


A big debate has taken place today (23rd Oct) in Birmingham on the question of the new Police Radio system TETRA. It is believed that at least 174 police officers have so far fallen ill as a direct result of using the new radio handsets, whilst concerns similar to those for mobile phones are being voiced by local communities across the UK that the emissions given out by TETRA base stations are harmful to health, particularly children.


Mast Sanity has demanded an immediate response from the Home Secretary to clarify the comments alleged to have been made by Dr Mirielle Levy the Home Office Health and Safety Officer in charge of TETRA in relation to the 200 plus Police Officers in Lancashire who are said to have become ill as a consequence of using TETRA radios - "I don't believe
they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial" South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied "They can always leave the force. Snothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign". In the her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guinea pigs".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director: "If the statement made by the Home Office is Government policy then the Home Secretary must immediately state in clear terms why the Government are more interested in implementing a system that has so far been demonstrated to have an effect upon the health of officers than what should be their primary
concern the health of officers on the beat". Lisa continued "It is inconvievable that the Government should  commit '£2.5billion' to implementing this scheme, yet spend only '£7.4million' on research into all aspects of the safety of
telecommunication installations. Which clearly demonstrates that the Government have little concern for the welfare of individual police officers or members of the public, whether that is from TETRA or Mobile Phone Base Station. Their concern being clearly that of financial rather than the protection of health".

Barrie Trower who was commissioned by the Police Federation to report on TETRA stated after the conference "This has been a complete farce, a whitewash, that was more concerned with PR than debating the real concerns of ordinary police officers on the beat. It is clearly disappointing for the 200 officers who are ill as they have no representation, and they are not being believed".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile concluded: "As an organisation that represents hundreds of local communities we are dismayed at the attitude of a high ranking Government Official making such irresponsible comments concerning the health of police officers. This official should be immediately replaced by a person that understands the concerns of those effected. These officers that are ill are not imaginary, they are real people policing our streets, in order to make
them safe, yet the Government is prepared to send them out with tools that are putting their health at risk. It is now time for a complete change in policy, along with a moritorium on the further expansion of the system until it is demonstrated that it is safe".


EDITORS NOTE: For more information contact Mast Sanity Media Office 0161 427 7977 or our national helpline 0161 959 0999. Leading Academic Barry Trower who attended the conference but was not allowed to address the delegates can be contacted on 01626 821014.

Please remember to fill in the Mast Sanity campaign registration form on our website <http://www.mastsanity.org/>www.mastsanity.org. If you wish to join our email list and get up to date information and advice from campaigns across the country then there is an application form available on the website

Informant: Don Maisch


Down-trodden tech companies still give campaign dollars
. October 21, 2002

WASHINGTON-As wireless firms and others in the sickly high-tech sector announce layoffs, declining profits and cost-cutting measures, they at the same time continue to pump millions of dollars into campaign coffers of candidates and political parties. While campaign donations this election cycle do not reach the levels of 2000, when speculative wireless and Internet stocks reached their apex on Wall Street, they remain substantial.

High tech and media companies contributed nearly $80 million to Democrats and Republicans through Sept. 9, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It is not by accident that this scenario exists even as tech firms fight off bankruptcy and angry shareholders. The outcome of the Nov. 5 midterm elections could shape the direction telecom deregulation takes in coming years. Telecom consolidation is a foregone conclusion. Do policy-makers continue to embrace free-market policies and wait to see who is still standing when the dust settles? Or will they feel compelled to intervene? Even though Congress moved little tech legislation this year, a lot is at stake as potentially massive realignments in telecom and high-tech sectors take shape. That reality and the fact that continued Democrat control of the Senate and, to a lesser extent, Republican control of the House, are in play help explain the generosity of tech firms in this season of political giving. While the Federal Communications Commission will remain in the hands of Republicans after next month's elections, the makeup of the next Congress could be key to how free a hand Chairman Michael Powell has to implement his agenda. If Democrats surrender control of the Senate to the GOP, the FCC nomination of Democrat Jonathan Adelstein-an aide to Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.)-is likely dead. Following the telecom/high tech money trail, however, is a highly imperfect guide to political ideology. Companies commonly hedge their bets, giving to both parties. Moreover, firms tend to give to lawmakers that support their particular industry sectors and protect them from new competition.

This election cycle, there is added draw for campaign donors-the new Department of Homeland Security and its $37 billion budget."Millions of dollars in federal contracts and potential business deals are on the line as Congress considers what would be the most substantial reorganization of the government since the end of World War II," said the CRP. "It goes without saying that business interests in Washington are watching the deal closely, perhaps more intently than any legislation in recent memory." The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association has split its $471,171 between Democrats and Republicans. CTIA members want more spectrum and freedom from federal mandates. Embattled Nortel Networks has spread its $402,056 in campaign contributions between Democrats and Republicans. Motorola Inc. has given much of its $347,806 to Republicans, while Qualcomm Inc. has divided its $290,983 between the two major parties. Also hedging bets are Cingular Wireless ($247,540) and T-Mobile USA ($269,000). Verizon Wireless, the nation's No. 1 mobile-phone operator, has directed most of its $108,562 to Republicans. Among the high rollers are Microsoft Corp., which has given two-thirds of its nearly $3 million in campaign contributions to Republicans. A year ago, the Bush Justice Department settled the antitrust lawsuit brought against Microsoft-increasingly a big player in the wireless industry-by the Clinton administration. SBC Communications Inc., co-owner of Cingular Wireless, has contributed nearly 60 percent of its $2.6 million in political donations to the GOP. SBC, BellSouth Corp. ($2.1 million), Verizon ($1.9 million) and Qwest Communications ($922,000) are anxious for Congress to remove restrictions preventing them from providing Internet data services on a nationwide basis. AT&T Corp. ($2.23 million), affiliate of AT&T Wireless Services Inc., is fighting to keep regional Bell firms out of long-distance and broadband Internet markets. Loral Space & Communications, parent of a financially embattled mobile satellite operator, has given nearly all of its $1.76 million in political donations to Democrats.

Informant: Don Maisch

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