Pentagon CIO takes over all 5G-related military activities, expansion of 5G pilot programs amid privacy concerns
05/25/2023 // Laura Harris // Views

The Department of Defense (DoD)'s Chief Information Office (CIO) has announced that it would take over all 5G-related activities in the U.S. military and any expansion of 5G pilot programs.

John Sherman, DoD chief information officer and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), made the announcement. He added that the CIO under him will assume this capacity on Oct. 1, 2023. According to Sherman, he has already been working on this area with the office of the DoD's under secretary of defense for research and engineering (USDRE).

Prior to Sherman's office assuming oversight of 5G, it was under the responsibility of Thomas Rondeau, the principal director of the FutureG and 5G Office within the Defense Department's USDRE office. In line with the announcement, Rondeau assured in a May 15 statement that his office that the USDRE will work alongside Sherman.

"As the research and engineering arm of the DoD's efforts in telecommunications, the inclusion of [the] CIO in the expansion of the pilots reflects the Department's commitment to being on the cutting edge of this technology," Rondeau said. "We are excited to expand upon the established partnership with [the] CIO in experimentation and innovation and move into this next phase towards implementation."

In 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) invested $600 million to initiate 5G pilot programs in military bases located in Utah, Washington, Georgia, California and Nevada. These pilots utilize 5G wireless technology to optimize logistics and improve distributed command and control.


Sherman also expressed interest in implementing these pilot programs for open radio access networks to ensure the U.S. maintains its dominance in the 5G radio frequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) arena. He aims to involve and promote the U.S. industry on top of other foreign adversaries like China by adopting an open-network and open-software approach.

Pentagon could use 5G for surveillance purposes, experts warn

However, several critics voiced out their opposition to the DoD CIO's takeover of 5G programs. They pointed out that the Defense Department could use the technology to surveil American citizens. W. Scott McCollough, lead litigator for Children's Health Defense, warned that officials like Sherman who came from the CIA could use 5G to track and control Americans. (Related: U.S. and U.K. partner up to ban Huawei from 5G surveillance and data collection.)

"The military is a Trojan horse for the intelligence community in terms of domestic surveillance and societal control," he told the Defender. "These efforts are geared toward sustaining 'domination' in the RF-EMF' domain' at home, not just abroad. Those in charge are concerned about their own citizens as much as they are perceived foreign hostile actors."

"Sadly, in many respects, those in power have come to view large portions of the U.S. population as actual or potential adversaries or mere subjects that must be monitored, manipulated and controlled. 5G is an essential component in how that is and will be accomplished."

Nonlinear warfare expert Dr. Crisanna Shackelford also expressed her concerns. She told the Defender: "DoD's involvement in 5G could lead to the militarization of the technology, blurring the lines between civilian and military applications. Potential military control over 5G networks could potentially infringe on privacy and civil liberties."

"The consolidation and integration of civil-military 5G advancements raise concerns about the emergence of global surveillance networks as various international entities collaborate to establish pervasive surveillance, particularly in the realm of biomedical surveillance."

While Shackelford acknowledged the importance of advancements in communication and connectivity, she reminded the Defense Department to "proceed with caution to safeguard our society, privacy and civil liberties." Failing to do so, she added, could "result in mass data collection, tracking and monitoring of individuals, leading to a loss of privacy."

Watch this video about how 5G Surveillance marks the beginning of slavery.

This video is from the AYA - Awaken Your Awareness channel on

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