Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cisco Says It Doesn't Help Chinese Government Censor Internet

denied a human-
rights group's allegations that the company have helped Chinese
officials construct a ''great firewall'' to barricade Internet users'
access to anti-government content.

, the world's biggest shaper of networking equipment,
sells the same merchandises worldwide and doesn't customize them to
help foreign authorities ban the Internet, General Counsel
said today at a Senate hearing. The company's
routers and electric switches include basic security characteristics that protect
networks from viruses and service interruptions, he said.

''Those same features, without which the Internet could not
function effectively, can unfortunately be used by network
administrators for political purposes,'' he said. ''Cisco is not
a service or content provider, nor are we a web manager who
can find how those characteristics are used.''

, based in San Jose, California, may be offering
''censorship training'' to Chinese police force officials, said Shiyu
Zhou, deputy sheriff director of the Global Internet Freedom Consortium.

A six-year-old internal company written document listings China's
''Golden Shield'' censoring undertaking as one of Cisco's ''major
target customers,'' Zhou Dynasty told the Senate human-rights
subcommittee. The 90-page PowerPoint presentation cited the
Chinese government's attempts to battle political dissenters and
referred to the banned Falun Gong Negro spiritual grouping as an ''evil
cult,'' Zhou Dynasty said.

That part of the 2002 written document was a quotation mark from an
official Chinese authorities statement denouncing ''hostile
elements,'' Raymond Chandler said. The presentation was prepared by a
Chinese applied scientist employed by the company.

''We sorrow that the applied scientist included that in the
presentation, even by manner of explaining the Chinese government's
goals,'' he said. ''We disavow the deduction that this reflects
in any manner 's sees or objectives.''

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