Feeds

Canadian Uni hot under the collar over Wi-Fi safety

Tin-foil hats all round

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A Canadian university has limited Wi-Fi networks on campus, not out of information security concerns, but because the long-term safety of the technology is "unproven".

Fred Gilbert, president of Canada's Lakehead University, made the order on the basis of possible health risk from the technology, especially to young people. Inconclusive studies into possible links between radio transmissions and leukemia and brain tumors from, among others, scientists for the California Public Utilities Commission, led Gilbert to make the "precautionary ban".

"All I’m saying is while the jury’s out on this one, I’m not going to put in place what is potential chronic exposure for our students. Admittedly that’s highest around the locations of the antenna sites and the wireless hot spots, but those are the places people tend to gravitate to because they get the best reception," Gilbert said, Canadian technology website IT Business reports.

The Ontario University makes limited use of WiFi only in areas where fibre-optics links can't reach. Gilbert says he want to see conclusive evidence that the technology is safe before he'll be prepared to approve its wider use.

Robert Bradley, director of consumer and clinical radiation protection at Health Canada, said documents due to be published this year should establish that WiFi networks operating at below current regulatory limits poses no risk to humans. But if the controversy about the possible health risks of mobile phones are anything to go by that's unlikely to reassure everyone.

Jorg-Rudiger Sack, a computer science professor at Carleton University, said that while wireless is useful in environments where people are not likely to be working in fixed locations (such as airport departure lounges) its benefits in campus environments are far more tenuous. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.