Feeds

US to chat again with Campaigners Against Stuff on mobile health regs

Finding proof of a thing not happening: Rather hard

Top three mobile application threats

The FCC has launched an official enquiry into the rules around cellphone radiation, and has invited world+dog to pitch in and have their say on the brain-melting devices.

Most of the FCC's suggestions are amendments to the rules on handsets which haven't been updated since 1996. Those ageing rules don't reflect the latest research on the subject, or the increasing use of wearable computers.

There's now an inquiry into the actual limits of radiofrequency exposure, complete with the inevitable invitation for all and sundry to pitch in with their opinion on cancer-inducing tech.

...the Commission invites health and safety agencies and the public to comment on the propriety of our general present limits and whether additional precautions may be appropriate in some cases, for example with respect to children...

...says the FCC's statement, opening the doors to anyone who wants to express their psychosomatic illness brought on by clamping a mobile phone to their ear for hours on end.

Not that ears will be the concern for much longer, as the proposed changes also reclassify the pinna (outer ear) as an extremity, thus permitting exposure levels similar to those permissible for one's hands and feet. The debate is now open on what those levels should be and how - or if - the public should be informed about them.

The problem with exposure to radio frequency energy is that in large doses it is dangerous. Dangerous enough to cook a chicken, even if it won't brown properly. We also know that small doses, such as those continuously bathing our planet (and even generated by it) aren't dangerous. It's also important to note the difference between ionising radiation, which can cause cancer, and non-ionising radiation (like radio signals) which can only heat your tissues up - and that only at very high power levels and short ranges.

The difficulty is finding the safe middle ground amidst the half-truths and misdirection perpetrated by both the mobile operators and Campaigners Against Stuff.

The FCC is asking if customers need more information on the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of handsets and whether the information should be in the manual or even displayed at the point of sale - the latter being briefly required in California, before being knocked back as an infringement on free speech. At the moment this info is only available though a tortuous FCC database search.

Perhaps more rationally, the FCC is also asking for input in wearable devices; those existing within a centimetre or two of the body for extended periods of time. Google Glass, for example, puts a mobile phone against the skull for every waking moment (in theory) and the FCC wants to know if that's something to worry about.

While the regulator will, no doubt, be inundated with hearsay and personal testimony the call for input makes the point that it can't judge the science, only respond to the conclusions reached by scientific bodies.

Though if previous experience is anything to go by, it could well end up judging those scientific bodies instead. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.