Cisco sued for helping China monitor Internet

May 23, 2011
A sign is posted in front of a Cisco Systems campus in March 2011 in San Jose, California. Falungong members are suing Cisco for custom-building "Golden Shield" Internet technology used by China to track down devotees of the spiritual movement.

Falungong members are suing Cisco Systems for custom-building "Golden Shield" Internet technology used by China to track down devotees of the spiritual movement.

Cisco dismissed the case Monday as being without basis and vowed to "vigorously defend" itself.

A lawsuit filed in US federal court in the northern California city of San Jose calls for the gear giant to pay damages and stop helping China find Falungong supporters.

Cisco "designed, supplied and helped maintain a censorship and surveillance network known as Golden Shield" used by Chinese officials to identify Falungong practitioners who were detained, tortured and sometimes killed, a lawyer for the group said in court documents filed last week.

"Cisco does not operate networks in China or elsewhere, nor does Cisco customize our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression," the California-based firm told AFP.

"Cisco builds equipment to global standards which facilitate free exchange of information, and we sell the same equipment in China that we sell in other nations worldwide in strict compliance with US government regulations."

Cisco established a Corp. subsidiary in Beijing in 1998 that went to work on Golden Shield, referred to internally as "Policenet," according to the suit.

"Cisco's specific intent to meet the requirements of the Chinese Communist Party's purpose to identify, track and thereby abuse and eliminate Falungong practitioners... was expressed in marketing presentations," court papers charge.

Explore further: Cisco adds video security to product line

Related Stories

Cisco to buy ScanSafe for $183 million

October 27, 2009

Cisco announced on Tuesday it has agreed to buy Web security company ScanSafe for some 183 million dollars, the latest in a string of acquisitions by the US networking giant.

Cisco to introduce new heavy-duty Internet router

March 9, 2010

(AP) -- Cisco Systems Inc. announced Tuesday that it is upgrading one of its biggest pieces of networking hardware, a router that's used to power the most trafficked parts of the Internet backbone.

Citing rights failings, firm divests Cisco holdings

January 12, 2011

A US investment management firm has divested of its holdings in Cisco, accusing the networking giant of failing to respond to human rights concerns, particularly in China, and lacking transparency.

Recommended for you

Toyota promises better mileage and ride with Prius hybrid

October 13, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Tuesday, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car.

Facebook to test mobile app shopping tab

October 12, 2015

Facebook said Monday that it will begin testing a shopping tab for its mobile app as it works to ramp up advertising and online commerce offerings.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) May 24, 2011
it's just business as usual. Just another company with blood on their hands.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.