Somehow, 5G Paranoia Is Only Getting Dumber

from the protect-me-from-myself dept

We’ve made it repeatedly clear that 5G now exists in some kind of alternate reality, untethered from this complicated mortal plane. One one side, you’ve got telecom giants, hardware vendors, and some politicians busy pretending that 5G is a revolutionary game changer, something you just sprinkle around to create near Utopian smart cities, smart vehicles, and miracle cancer cures. On the other side, you’ve got an international cabal of conspiracy theorists with a head full of pudding, who think 5G gives them COVID or is a diabolical deep state, mind-surveillance tool.

Of course 5G is neither of those things. It’s a pretty modest evolution for existing wireless standards. One that’s technically less dangerous than existing cellular networks, according to actual experts. And while it will offer faster speeds eventually, U.S. implementation of 5G is spotty and slow (in some cases slower than 4G), resulting in some fairly underwhelming first impressions. It’s worth neither the hype nor the fear expended on it so far.

That’s not stopping the 5G conspiracy theorists. Earlier this year, folks began burning down 5G cell towers and even hiding razor blades on utility polls in the mistaken belief that 5G spreads COVID, controls minds, or is part of a new diabolical surveillance effort by the “deep state.” (If you think any of these claims are true, your head has been filled with gibberish by charlatans and you need a time out).

More recently, scammers selling micro faraday cages for your router have popped up to target the gullible, promising to block the harmful impact of 5G. The products themselves are hysterical in their innate stupidity, actively blocking all wireless signals emitting from wireless routers, at prices that make no coherent sense:

Judging from the overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews, folks really don’t seem to understand they’d be better off just, you know, not buying a wireless router and settling for a traditional (and much cheaper) fixed line router:

Again, 5G exists in this really kind of amazing alternative reality where it’s either some amazing technological revolution that’s going to change everything, or it’s part of some diabolical plot to kill or monitor people who watch too much YouTube. The reality, that 5G is a semi-important but kind of dull evolution of existing technology, rarely makes an appearance.

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Comments on “Somehow, 5G Paranoia Is Only Getting Dumber”

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Jeroen Hellingman (profile) says:

I doubt a fixed line router is cheaper, especially if you consider wiring up your house with cat. 6 UTP cables and matching outlets in all rooms. Doing so, however, will solve wifi issues, and improve your network speed and ping times a lot.

If I had an evil mood, I might consider advising my neighbors to use this, so their wifi causes less interference with mine. Good for them, I am not evil.

fairuse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I have a spool of it in the basement. Oops, my bad catv coax.

I am sure the tinfoil hats will help those worried about mind control. Those were tested and approved when CIA was trying to control minds of that group of people worried about that.

This is where I have to fall back and say, "There is always one no matter how small or how large the sample is. Now the sample size global."

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Story in this area, about a persons computer shop and he kept swapping items in the computers from person to person.
I looked at the insides of one, and only 1/2 of what they paid for was there. But NOT the CPU, Mobo, ram, were even NEAR what they asked for or what was needed to run windows. It was a Pentium, Just a Pentium, when win 2000 was out.
Just had a laptop, barely running, thats at least 10 years old. Sold new in this area, 5 years ago.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Seriously? Faraday cages for your wireless router? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day. You can’t design a Faraday cage that only blocks 5G. The entire principle behind Faraday cages is that they block radio waves of all kinds. If anything, I’d imagine 5G gets through more effectively than other WiFi signals. And they’re charging $90 for these? They’re just metal cages.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The entire principle behind Faraday cages is that they block radio waves of all kinds.

You can design one that acts as a high pass filter, that is block all frequencies lower than the design frequency, because all holes and slots act as slot antennas. So you design one to block WiFi and let through high band 5g. Your intuition that 5G will get through easier is correct, around a 5mm slot is the antenna size for high band 5g, and that can be where two bits of metal do not actually make contact, like between a lid and a case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If the cage is a continuous conductor, it will stop radio waves. However things like doors cause breaks in the conductive surface which allow signals to leak into the cage. At 30Ghz, those holes to allow cable into the case are big enough to be a slot aerial. A microwave oven, with the door shut is a pretty good faraday cage, with very minor leakage due to imperfection in the door to oven seal allow minor leakage.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

A microwave isn’t a faraday cage or you don’t understand what it takes to be a waveguide or be materials with high absorption and reflection coefficients.

OTA transmission depends on the absorption, reflection, and transmission constants for the materials and wavelengths involved.

Microwaves in your kitchen are supposed to make a microwave charged airgas and blow it onto food. The specific frequency of that microwave has high absorption into the door material and high reflection into metal. It’s not a traditional faraday cage but some people conflate them.

The microwave door thing is like saying wood is a good faraday cage material because it doesn’t let blue light through it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"A microwave isn’t a faraday cage "

Well, the microwave in your kitchen is supposed to stop the evil microwaves from escaping and toasting your body as you eagerly drool over thoughts of eating that frozen pizza.

Fun experiment for ya:
1) unplug the microwave (just in case)
2) put your cell phone (turned on) in the microwave
3) from other phone, call the cell phone you just paced in the microwave
4) record your results
5) tell us about it

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Considering that the oven is usually stainless steel, it is not a special absorber, indeed significant absorption by the microwave oven walls would significantly reduce its efficiency. Also, any non-conductive gap in conducting surface is a slot aerial where the longest dimension is a significant part of a wavelength. A microwave oven needs to be a pretty good faraday cage to stop it trying to cook the owner.

Circuit shielding is the small scale application of faraday shielding, and often result in many more small screws being used that required for mechanical strength, and sometimes leaving one out has a measurable effect, just don’t ask how long it took to find..

genghis_uk (profile) says:

I hang my head in shame at the ignorance of the UK public.
We led the world in engineering 100 years ago and now we are back to burning things because we don’t understand them…

The really sad ting is that being dumb is seen as cool while getting an education and trying to improve is undesirable – how the hell did that happen?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'I love the uneducated!' thought every con-artist ever

The really sad ting is that being dumb is seen as cool while getting an education and trying to improve is undesirable – how the hell did that happen?

Unfortunately that one is really easy to understand, if you’re in power and going to lie to people it helps to keep them as dumb as possible so they’re less likely to realize that they’re being lied to, and as such it’s in your best interest to denigrate education and the educated who might call you out on your lies or spot the huge gaping holes in your claims/arguments.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

The mind surveillance tool thing involves sampling and reconstruction of signals on human neurons with normal electrical engineering tools. It was developed by nazis (german or not idk) in a death camp because the process causes disability and death on its victim. (Sclerosis of the targeted nerve ie multiple sclerosis) 5g wireless signals aren’t safe but 100g looks like the most fatal freq. Idk why they do cyber attacks either but it’s not a benign technology.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Cellular "5G" means "5th generation", not "5GHz". There is no such thing as wifi "5G". In that case it is 5GHz. These are two very different things.

Also, newsflash: Radiation of any kind is dangerous at sufficient exposure or broadcast power but neither property is present in home wifi signals. The world is wrapped in so much of it that it is impossible to escape completely. Maybe you should wrap yourself in a personal faraday cage. Don’t forget the foil hat.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

5g wireless signals aren’t safe but 100g looks

You are conflating Gs right off the bat.

Guess what if you stand in front of a giant high-powered radar or stick your head in a microwave over, you’ll run into trouble. Extreme bright light and lasers can also be dangerous. Enough infrared will cook you. Don’t get me started on UV, X, and gamma rays.

No wavelength is safe!

Or, you know, they are all just fine if there isn’t a high intensity at your person.

Somewhat lower intensities for higher-energy (shorter wavelength) required. Not available in all states. Subject to applicable federal and state taxes. Executed by professionals on a closed track. Never stand directly next to quasars.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"I don’t think you understand what 5G is. There is no “100G”."

He seems to be the kind of dangerous idiot who understands nothing, but has grasped enough to make him easy enough to fool with any random crap out there.

In this case, he seems to be conflating a number of things – G and GHz, microwave as a general technical term and microwave in the concept of an oven, and so on.

I suspect that someone’s reinterpreted research like this and hasn’t actually grasped what the actual data says, and (more likely) is being fed badly misinterpreted information through someone with a mental illness and an agenda..

Glenn says:

Generally, people use the router they get from their ISP, almost always a wireless one. A lot of people don’t use wireless devices and have some serious concern about other people using wireless to hack into their home network. (And it’s too difficult for them apparently to just go into the router and disable the radio–there being no button on the outside to do this [anymore].) So, a "modern" solution now is to spend a ridiculous amount of money (anything over $0 being ridiculous) to get cage and put your router in it. (Sounds like a Trump supporter thing–brain is mush.)

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

The Supply Commander says:

You've LOST the "Tech", now are just DIRT.

READ this which indirectly states that "5G" (which for this point I mean the higher frequencies) CAN be screened out, so contrary to fanboy assertions, that "Faraday" cage may work:

High-band 5G uses frequencies of 25-39 GHz, near the bottom of the millimeter wave band, although higher frequencies may be used in the future. However, millimeter waves (mmWave or mmW) have a more limited range, requiring many small cells.[5] They have trouble passing through some types of materials such as walls and windows.

Now here’s why the worry about HIGH powers. First, there can be MANY transmitters so could be LOTS of radiation in "ordinary" urban setting:

5G can support up to a million devices per square kilometer,

And the base stations (having power outputs ranging up to TEN KILOWATTS which is to military radar levels) can concentrate power:

In a technique called beamforming, the base station computer will continuously calculate the best route for radio waves to reach each wireless device and will organize multiple antennas to work together as phased arrays to create beams of millimeter waves to reach the device.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You've LOST the "Tech", now are just DIRT.

One could spray paint the inside of a helmet with a paint containing small conductive material and thus negate the need for a tinfoil hat.

But if you want to be sure, go get one of those suits the Tesla Coil musical people use. You seen that video? Bzzzzzzzt Bzzzzzt

If you want to really go bonkers, go buy an old WWII submarine and live in it.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: You've LOST the "Tech", now are just DIRT.

So what? None of that suggests any danger from 5G. In particular, the power requirements are irrelevant as they say nothing about the intensity of the beams. The higher power requirements are a direct result of using higher frequencies. At these frequencies, you’d need much higher intensities to experience any health effects at all.

Let’s put it this way: the visible light and infrared light from the Sun is far more dangerous than 5G. It has both higher intensity and higher frequency.

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The Supply Commander says:

Somehow, 5G promoters are only overlooking facts.

Wikipedia admits that it’s not just rednecks worrying:

In 2019, 180 scientists from 36 countries wrote to the European Union requesting a pause on 5G rollout, because of their concerns about possible health risks. In April 2019, the city of Brussels in Belgium blocked a 5G trial because of radiation rules. In Geneva, Switzerland, a planned upgrade to 5G was stopped for the same reason.

But it’s allayed by the usual LACK of evidence from those who didn’t want to find any:

The Swiss Telecommunications Association (ASUT) has said that studies have been unable to show that 5G frequencies have any health impact.

The health effects will be tested on YOU (there’s also a "Health" heading which has the obligatory "pooh-pooh"):

5G in the 24 GHz range or above use higher frequencies than 4G, and as a result, some 5G signals are not capable of traveling large distances (over a few hundred meters), unlike 4G or lower frequency 5G signals (sub 6 GHz). This requires placing 5G base stations every few hundred meters in order to use higher frequency bands. Also, these higher frequency 5G signals cannot penetrate solid objects easily, such as cars, trees, and walls, because of the nature of these higher frequency electromagnetic waves. 5G cells can be deliberately designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, which finds applications in places like restaurants and shopping malls.

NOT mentioned is that "deductive radar" (my term) is easily possible either by receiver on opposite side of target from the high power sources, OR using reflections, only with adjustment since not aligned with the source. Tests have apparently been done in which it’s possible to "see through walls".

Now, are you ALL unaware that kooky "conspiracy theories" are a tactic used BY conspirators to divert? You need stick to facts, not just smugly believe that are no evil people in the world.

Anyhoo, ENJOY the future, kids! You don’t actually have a choice, and you don’t even wish that did.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Somehow, 5G promoters are only overlooking facts.

Note what else is in there:

some 5G signals are not capable of traveling large distances (over a few hundred meters), unlike 4G or lower frequency

In other words, they’re placed closely together in order to ensure full coverage, but that won’t mean that you’ll experience higher intensities from these towers being close together simply because 5G doesn’t go very far to begin with.

Also, these higher frequency 5G signals cannot penetrate solid objects easily, such as cars, trees, and walls, because of the nature of these higher frequency electromagnetic waves.

Basically, 5G signals can be easily blocked by any solid object. This also means that they won’t penetrate far through your body.

Also, unless you have any evidence that 5G does have any safety effects, the burden of proof is on you. Considering that similar intensities of infrared or 4G wavelengths don’t have any harmful effects on health, I don’t know why you’d expect 5G to be any different.

ECA (profile) says:

Watched for years.

The fight over truth, facts, and the BS that abounds in this country.
Finding Anything that isnt Factual is so easy.
There have been so many that will SAY anything if you give them money, Even real Doctors/scientists. See those pictures on adverts about doctors and scientists backing something..THEY AINT REAL.
try telling people that.
I even know a doctor that dont believe in herbal meds. Even tho he knows WHAT they Make. Like 5HTP(serotonin).
TRYING to prove/disprove adverts and News, gets to be so much fun, its Worse them reading a Contract and getting thru the legalize. Anyone want to read a Music contract from the 60’s?? and learn you DONT own the music anymore.

There is NO Law or regulation that forbids, LYING. If there was MOST adverts would no longer be anywhere. But its not the Advert maker/company that Should be held responsible, Someone had to OK’ the advert.
Then there is the idea of going to court. and HOW much money you have to fight for TRUTH. Not in this country where MONEY RULES. and so do the lies.

Anonymous Coward says:

There’s people who do not understand tech but can read weird conspiracy theory’s on Facebook or other websites
and believe them the Internet is also being used by extremists to Make money I can make money if if get 1000s
of people reading my made up bullshit or watching my videos about 5g and antivaxx conspracys
Look at televangelists you can say almost anything and someone will believe it and give you money

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hey tech dirt. Yea 5g sucks. It barely works. Your right. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s reality. It’s killing people. Radiation sickness is the same as covid symptoms. Who gets a dry cough from the flu? Lol. It causes oxygen deprivation in humans. Mm wave certainly is small enough to seep thru our pores and go thru our nerve cells deep within our body destroying everything. It’s not safe! I don’t give a crap if you think non ionizing is safe. It’s MICROWAVES! It causes covid because it weakens our immune system. 5G mm wave was rolled out in nyc 9/26 and it takes 6 months for radiation poisoning to take effect. Not there’s no 75 gH but Verizon, T-Mobile, att rolled out mmwave in nyc. 25 percent of covid deaths were in NYC alone. Not including NY or any other state which only had a 2.9 percent rate. Everywhere that 5g rolls out is where the hot spots of covid happen. Why do u think it’s scrubbed from the internet in 30 seconds. FCC approved dangerously high levels of gH never ever been tested on humans. 3g and 4 g were bad but worked excellent. 5 g pollutes the environment and doesn’t even work. It’s not on our phones. It only works outside. The reason covid is spreading is because no 20,000 5 g satellites are in the sky so it’s spreading everywhere. Will humans survive? Stop 5 g and we will. The spanish “flu” wasn’t a flu, it was when am fm radio waves were first introduced to humans. Than radar technology caused a flu later on.
Scientists know more than you about health. Sorry.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Microwaves (though not the 5G kind; they’re at the low end of the microwave spectrum and below) can cause burns at high intensities, but not radiation poisoning. Only ionizing radiation like ultraviolet or higher can cause radiation poisoning. Also, radiation poisoning symptoms are nothing like COVID, nor does it spread the same way. Also, 5G is actually worse at penetrating our skin than 4G or below.

It’s also worth noting that GHz refers to frequency, which is inversely proportionate to wavelength. You don’t measure the amount of 5G radiation in GHz because the amount of GHz in 5G is set by definition to a certain range.

As for AM/FM radio waves or radar causing flus, that doesn’t even make sense and is counter to what we know about what happened back then. For one thing, AM radio predated FM radio, so your history is just plain wrong to begin with.

As for whether 5G works or not, the only ways it’s not working well are that it was overhyped to begin with so couldn’t meet expectations, the available bandwidth in the US for 5G was legally limited, 5G deployment has been limited due to the number of towers needed in higher concentrations due to 5G’s limited range, and current 5G antennas are currently more taxing on current batteries. It actually works fine, just not dramatically better than 4G.

And it’s not the satellites that are 5G. Only towers and the antennas in mobile phones are 5G. Satellites are too far for 5G to make it from the satellites to the towers.

Also, COVID spreads well in the same areas that 5G gets deployed because both are big, crowded cities, where flus spread very well and populations are high and dense enough for 5G to be worth it. COVID also spread well in areas like South Dakota where social distancing wasn’t practiced even though 5G deployment there is still rather spotty.

As for getting a dry cough from the flu, I certainly have, and COVID isn’t like other flus.

You clearly know nothing about radiation, physics, biology, or epidemiology.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"The spanish “flu” wasn’t a flu, it was when am fm radio waves were first introduced to humans"

Well, I think I’ve heard the dumbest conspiracy theories out there, but then someone always comes with bigger and better crazy.

" Scientists know more than you about health."

Then idiots come along and pretend their knowledge is worthless because they’re all in on some big conspiracy, and that some half-assed mental case with a barely researched blog post is worth more than their decades of expertise. We know.

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Follow Up says:

Report finds microwave energy likely made US diplomats ill

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new report by a National Academy of Sciences committee has found that "directed" microwave radiation is the likely cause of illnesses among American diplomats in Cuba and China.

The study found that "directed, pulsed radio frequency energy appears to be the most plausible" explanation for symptoms that included intense head pressure, dizziness and cognitive difficulties. It found this explanation was more likely than other previously considered causes such as tropical disease or psychological issues.

Now, all I have here is a conclusive official study, while you kids have the flag button, ad hominem, and amazing ability to gainsay facts. — Let’s mock.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Report finds microwave energy likely made US diplomats i

It has nothing to do with 5G, and everything to do with pouring large amounts (appropriate frequencies, high intensities) of directed radiation into people.

So yeah, let’s mock people who think that means something other than it does. Like people who never heard of microwave weapons since the 60s or some shit.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Report finds microwave energy likely made US diplomats ill

To replicate those effects would require directed, pulsed, high intensity radiation. 5G communications are nowhere close to that. And it’s not like Cuba has 5G towers, anyways. Also, only part of 5G is in the microwave spectrum, and only part of the microwave spectrum is within 5G, so stop pretending the two are equivalent.

Basically, this study is a complete non sequitur. It’s also not terribly surprising given that microwave weapons and their effects have been well known for quite some time. It just has nothing to do with 5G.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Report finds microwave energy likely made US diplomats ill

"Now, all I have here is a conclusive official study"

You have.

"Let’s mock"

Well, when you wave around a completely irrelevant study that you haven’t understood as proof of something other than the subject of the study, and the rest of us recognise your smug wilful ignorance for what it is, what else do you suggest we do?

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