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Judge Blocks Crowdfunded Legal Challenge to UK 5G Rollout

Friday, July 30th, 2021 (4:50 pm) - Score 1,488
5g mast on smartphone uk mobile

The High Court has blocked a highly questionable crowd-funded legal challenge by the Action Against 5G campaign, which had been attempting to disrupt the rollout of ultrafast 5G (mobile broadband) services over fears that “radio-frequency radiation from masts and wireless devices puts health and life at risk.

Just to recap, the outbreak of COVID-19 brought with it a bizarre new conspiracy theory, which saw supporters ignore accepted science in the mistaken belief that the new generation of ultrafast 5G based mobile signals had either helped to create or directly transmit the virus – both conspiracy theories lacked any credible scientific foundation (we’ve covered this before in our 5G fact check).

Leaving aside the fact that a biological virus couldn’t be more different from electromagnetic radio waves, or that COVID-19 spread just as fast in countries and areas with no 5G at all. The one sure way to actually hurt people during a very real global pandemic is by spreading fear about a vital communications network, which has also resulted in various attacks against telecoms infrastructure and engineers.

However, unsubstantiated health fears about 5G pre-date the pandemic and thus the case, which is being pursued by Michael Mansfield QC of lawyers at Nexus Chambers, focused more on seeking a Judicial Review of the UK Government’s support for the rollout (i.e. questioning whether they had taken proper account of health concerns or factored in the need for adequate safeguards etc.).

Extract from AA5G’s Claim

The case concerns an important issue of public safety. It raises the risk to which members of the public, including particular vulnerable individuals, and children, are being exposed without having consented to or agreed to expose themselves to that risk; and without an adequate and proper consideration undertaken by the relevant safeguarding authorities of the creation of those man-made public health risks.

We provided documents containing evidence from a multitude of respected and eminent experts concerning the health effects of the technology used by 5G, and the attendant risks to the public and individuals, upon which the Defendants declined to act.

The Defendants cannot lawfully continue to ignore or overlook the evidence that indicates the existence of a risk that has not been quantified. To date there has been a failure to engage with this body of evidence, and an inappropriate attempt to delegate any assessment of risk to an external body – a body against which membership legitimate criticism of industry finance and conflict of interest is levelled.

The issues include:

— the absence of due investigation of the nature and extent of the risks to the safety of individuals, and human health by the relevant United Kingdom authorities;

— the absence of appropriate measures, systems and safeguarding steps to address the identified risks or potential risks; and

— a failure to adopt and apply a precautionary principle, or informed foresight, to the exposure of non-consenting children and adults to a risk of harm.

— The law provides a framework that demonstrates the unlawfulness of the inaction and errors of the executive bodies we have challenged.

— Holding to account the executive or legislative authorities to comply with the law and legal duties is undoubtedly a proper and essential function for the Court, especially in the context of protection of individuals from harm that includes loss of life or serious injury.

The main difficulty for this case is that, at present, the only agreed health impact from radio signals in the current generation of low power mobile networks is an imperceivable amount of heating (your body experiences massively more heating from the natural EM environment, such as via the Sun).

Just to clarify, the EM spectrum essentially reflects different kinds of light and most of that is invisible to human eyes. When an object absorbs any kind of light it heats up as it now has more energy than before, but often this effect is so small that you can’t feel it unless it’s very energetic (e.g. infrared makes your skin feel warm on a sunny day).

Likewise, all the mobile networks that are deployed today must conform to strict scientifically agreed rules for power and signal, which are based off many decades’ worth of scientific studies into this subject. Suffice to say that it came as no great surprise when the High Court judge, Mrs Justice Foster, rejected the AA5G challenge (BBC).

Mrs Justice Foster said:

“The real issue is that the claimants disagree with a large body of international opinion as to the safety of 5G [and the technical advice received] does not support the claimants’ concerns.

The [government] defendants have set out their (rational, scientifically based) view that there is nothing fundamentally different about the physical characteristics of the radio signals produced by 5G compared to those produced by 3G and 4G.”

The judge also said that the case was “out of time” because the Government’s 5G policy was set back in 2017 and mobile operators, such as Three UK, EE (BT), O2 (VMO2) and Vodafone, have now been rolling it out for around two years.

Naturally, AA5G hasn’t given up and Michael Mansfield QC, working alongside barristers Philip Rule and Lorna Hackett, have “swiftly lodged a Renewal Notice seeking permission for a hearing.” At the same time, the crowd-funding page has set a new stretch target of £250,000 (they’ve currently raised £162K) to help pay for all this.

We should point out that the case itself is perhaps less about whether 5G is safe or not, but rather whether the administrative procedures of the government have done enough due diligence when considering any potential health impacts. But whatever the outcome, it seems unlikely to change the fundamental understandings of the credible science that already exists, or even the views of those pushing this case.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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