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25 May 2019

Switzerland: Information War Over 5G

Editorial:  Information War Over 5G
by Antoine Grosjean, Tribune de Genève, 24 May 2019 - translation

Swisscom has recently deployed its 5G network in major
Swiss cities. A new network that is far from being
unamiously accepted. 
Image : Lucien Fortunati
Swisscom and its partners probably saw themselves as modern-day heralds, welcomed with open arms by the poor populations to whom they would bring progress. But now, just like the former conquistadors who claimed to civilize the world, those eulogizing 5G are welcomed with arrows and blowguns.

Faced with this popular and political sling, the blue giant pulled out the heavy artillery, paying itself a golden price for double pages of infomercials in several German and French-speaking newspapers, and covering our walls with giant posters. It's David against Goliath.

This information war is also played out on the political battlefield. Sign of a certain nervousness on a hot topic, the pro and anti-5G have split up letters to City Councils to praise the merits of this technology, or on the contrary, to enjoin them to be wary of it.

Some municipalities have decided to do everything in their power to postpone the deployment of 5G on their territory, at least until the results of independent studies on health risks are available. But apart from giving negative notice to requests for antenna installations, they do not have much power in this area.

Bombarded by the two contradictory study camps on 5G, each more scientific than the others, citizens and local elected officials are a little lost. Unless you are a graduate of EPFL, it is difficult to disentangle the truth from the false, propaganda from the facts. Swisscom accuses its detractors of making irrational comments. But what is more important: the fear of 5G or our insatiable thirst for technology that tends to make us forget any precautionary principle?


Original text in French:

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