China: Attack on Cisco over human rights intensifies
Date: 6 Sep 2011
US group the Human Rights Law Foundation has alleged that Cisco tailored its technology specifically to enable its use in human rights abuses. The company has always said that it sold its technology as standard, and could not be held accountable for what the Chinese authorities went on to do with it.
The group is pursuing a suit against the company in the US courts for providing aid to the Chinese government in its persecution and imprisonment of dissidents. According to the foundation, Cisco CEO John Chambers met a number of times with Jiang Zemin, who was responsible for the programme targeting members of Falun Gong.
This assertion, along with the content of a leaded Cisco presentation from 2002 alluding to how Cisco's technology could support China's goals of 'maintaining stability', has been held by the Foundation as showing that Cisco actively colluded in human rights abuses.
The company has not commented on the new claims, but has said in the past that it had not taken part in customising its products in order to facilitate repression of Chinese citizens.
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