Cisco gets into more human rights trouble

A human rights group, which is suing Cisco, says it has found new evidence proving the tech giant tailored its technology to enable torture and tracking of Chinese people.

The Human Rights Law Foundation said that it has evidence that Cisco trained Chinese officials in how to spy on net users. Cisco has always claimed that it flogged standard technology to the regime.

According to AP,  this case is different to another one being bought against Cisco on behalf of Chinese political prisoners who claim they were tortured and suppressed thanks to technology and training provided to the Chinese Communist Party by the networking outfit.

The Law Foundation claims that Cisco helped the Chinese government in monitoring and jailing members of the banned Falun Gong by helping to develop the “Golden Shield Project”.

The new evidence claims Cisco CEO John Chambers met with Jiang Zemin, who developed the campaign against Falun Gong, during the design and development of the Golden Shield.

Chambers, knew of the campaign of torture and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China but authorised and participated in the Golden Shield project anyway, the group claims.

The evidence involves quotes from a Cisco engineer describing the monitoring that his company’s technology allowed the Chinese to conduct.

The engineer said that Cisco provided a secure connection to provincial security databases allowing for thorough cross-checking and movement-tracing. It meant that coppers could remotely access the suspect’s work unit, access reports on the individual’s political behaviour, family history, fingerprints, photographs and other imaging information.

Cisco technology allowed the Chinese plods to check remotely whether the suspect had built or contributed to a website in the last three months, access the suspect’s surfing history and read his email.

Cisco developed “antivirus software” that was used by the Chinese to identify, block and track Falun Gong users and their internet activities.

Cisco marketed its security software as the only product capable of recognising “over 90 per cent of Falun Gong pictorial information”.

Apparently, it managed this by identifying and analysing internet activity that is unique to Falun Gong practitioners and then use these “digital signatures” to track them.