Something stinks over at Cisco. We've known since 2008 that the company is proactively selling services to China as tools for suppressing human rights. Despite that hullabaloo, the company is taking on board even more sketchy projects. And it takes journalists with real courage to deal with it, which is why only Private Eye has actually reported on the situation.
Take this Wall Street Journal article tepidly exploring whether Cisco's intention to help build a citywide surveillance network in Chongqing could potentially be used to monitor democracy movements:
"An examination of the Peaceful Chongqing project by The Wall Street Journal shows Cisco is expected to supply networking equipment that is essential to operating large and complicated surveillance systems... The company has previously said—including in a June blog post by Cisco's general counsel, Mark Chandler—that the company strictly abides by the Tiananmen export controls and doesn't supply any gear to China that is "customized in any way" to facilitate repressive uses."
Good to know Cisco's got their legal team as the official public representatives of the project. That already tell us a lot.
Now an official lawsuit is being filed by members of the Falun Gong sect, who claim Cisco's technology is being used to persecute them in China.
So what does the company have to say?
"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 company stated.