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Cisco 2012: Sponsoring Oppression

Another friend of the Olympics, 2012 Official Network Infrastructure partner Cisco joins the list of corporate dishonour, the murderous, the destructive, the obscene and the toxic. Cisco is being sued by three named Chinese political prisoners, Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, Liu Xianbin, and ten unnamed others and in a second case by the Human Rights Law Foundation. The prisoners' lawyer, Daniel Ward, said "Cisco has, for years now, knowingly aided and abetted the Chinese Communist Party's ongoing efforts to stifle the free speech and discourse of its citizenry."

The prisoners' complaint states that "With the assistance of Cisco, the CCP is now capable of detecting, identifying and tracking perceived threats to the CCP's power, and blocking 'harmful' websites." It says Cisco contributed to the 'Golden Shield Project' or 'Great Firewall of China', a "rather Orwellian euphemism for the Chinese Communist Party's ongoing effort to monitor, track and censor all internet traffic into and out of China."

Harry Wu, executive director of the Laogai Research Foundation, which is funding the case, who spent 19 years in Chinese labour camps said "Cisco is a company that would do business with any partner so long as it turns a profit, even at the expense of our people's rights and freedoms."

Cisco denies any direct involvement in human rights violations. However, in their case the prisoners present company memos which discuss 'networked prisons and jails' and how the company can assist the Chinese government "combat 'Falun Gong' evil religion and other hostiles." In its submission the Human Rights Law Foundation quotes a Cisco engineer as saying: "Cisco provided a secure connection to provincial security databases allowing for thorough cross-checking and movement-tracing … [such that] policemen could remotely access the suspect's work unit, access reports on the individual's political behaviour … family history … fingerprints, photographs and other imaging information." It also claims Cisco developed "first-of-their-kind features that Cisco suggested Chinese security officers use to facilitate the detection, apprehension and interrogation of Falun Gong, knowing that the interrogation of Falun Gong practitioners included and resulted in their torture and further persecution."

Olympic family values.


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