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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 05/25/2011, 00.00

    CHINA

    Cisco accused of helping Beijing persecute Falun Gong followers



    The company provides technical assistance to Beijing against users trying to access banned sites. Cisco rejects the accusation, but fails to describe its cooperation with Chinese authorities. Meanwhile, Beijing boosts its internet censorship.
    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Cisco Systems has rejected accusations made by the Falun Gong spiritual movement that it helped Beijing crack down on its members. Meanwhile, Chinese internet censorship is rising.

    On Monday, the Human Rights Law Foundation brought a lawsuit on behalf of Falun Gong against Cisco executives for providing Chinese authorities with networking equipment and technical assistance to set up the online "censorship and surveillance network”, named ‘Golden Shield’ (aka the Great Firewall of China).

    This has enabled the authorities to find and identify people who seek access to blocked sites. Falun Gong members have been detained, tortured and even killed because of the network, the lawsuit alleges.

    “Cisco's specific intent to meet the requirements of the Chinese Communist Party's purpose to identify, track and thereby abuse and eliminate Falun Gong practitioners [. . .] was expressed in marketing presentations," the court papers read.

    The lawsuit alleges Cisco established a subsidiary, China Network Technology Corporation, in Beijing in 1998 to work with the government.

    The 52-page suit names senior Cisco executives, including chief executive John Chambers.

    Falun Gong is a spiritual movement banned in China, where its members are persecuted and arrested.

    Cisco, which is based in San Diego (California), “vigorously” rejected the accusations. “We not customise our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression,” the company said. Instead, it "builds equipment to global standards which facilitate free exchange of information”.

    However, Cisco’s statement failed to explain how it cooperates with China and what information it shares or allows Chinese authorities to obtain.

    In recent years, search engines have been forced to help the authorities set up a system of censorship in order to operate in the country. Cisco has been criticised for accepting these conditions in order to remain in the hugely rich Chinese market.

    Hundreds of thousands of mainland internet users are being denied access to many foreign websites because of the widespread disruption of a popular internet tool used to bypass the ''Great Firewall''.

    China has 450 million internet users, the largest single group in the world. Fearing the free exchange of ideas via internet, Chinese authorities have heavily invested in a vast censorship and surveillance network.

    Its great firewall blocks thousands of websites, including those connected to Falun Gong or the Dalai Lama. Sensitive issues like dissident Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, Tibet and more recently the Arab Spring are also included in its lists of banned topics.

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    See also

    08/06/2011 CHINA
    Cisco again accussed of helping Beijing find dissidents
    Three dissidents jailed for their online posts sue the multinational for damages. Its technical aid and experience have been crucial for China’s online censorship system and for tracking down and arresting dissidents.

    15/02/2006 CHINA
    Yahoo laments censorship but Chinese bloggers want more resolve

    Today, the US Congress will look into the workings of Yahoo, Miscosoft, Google and Cisco, judged to be too compliant with Chinese censorship "for the love of profits".



    09/01/2006 CHINA
    China censors internet aided by Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco

    The three giant international companies delete blog, filter news and set up censorship systems. Journalists are increasingly targeted.



    13/03/2009 CHINA
    Human rights award for Liu Xiaobo and for Charter 08
    The prize for Liu, under house arrest since December, is intended to recognize his struggle for human rights and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, the family of the activist lawyer Gao Zhisheng has fled to the United States, and is denouncing constant intimidation and torture.

    29/04/2009 CHINA
    Beijing launches massive "security campaign," restricts business visas
    The real aim seems to be that of repressing all dissent and social protests. Experts: as a major economic power, China cannot continue to isolate itself from the world.



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