updated 05:35 pm EDT, Fri July 23, 2010
Carriers sue San Fran, say FCC has authority
The CTIA on Friday sued the city of San Francisco in a bid to stop a mandatory radiation warning law. The carrier-run organization claims that the city is overstepping its boundaries and that only the FCC has the "exclusive and comprehensive" authority to determine how radiation is displayed. The CTIA insisted that San Francisco's decision to show the SAR radiation levels for all phones was misleading, as it gave the impression certain phones were safer without definitive scientific proof.
As the FCC assumes that every phone below a certain SAR level is safe, there wouldn't be any safety advantage to opting for a phone with lower levels, the CTIA claimed. San Francisco has argued the law isn't to actively deter customers but to let those concerned about radiation get quicker access to information than a website or after the sale.
The lawsuit is somewhat contradictory for the CTIA, as it has routinely denied that the FCC doesn't have authority to manage network neutrality or many other aspects that would increase the level of competition. Both the FCC and FDA have said that current data doesn't prove that cellphones can trigger cancer or other ill effects, but studies like Interphone have also had incomplete data.