WASHINGTON (AP) – Members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement claim Cisco Systems has been helping the Chinese government by supplying it with computer-networking equipment used to spy on and persecute dissidents. In a lawsuit filed last week, a group of Falun Gong practitioners alleges Cisco provided networking gear and technical assistance to build and operate an elaborate system of Internet controls used by the Chinese government to track the online behavior of its citizens and block content it doesn’t like. The suit also claims Cisco aggressively marketed and customized its products for the system, knowing that it would be used to spy on dissident groups such as the Falun Gong. In a statemen t, Cisco rejects the claims, saying it doesn’t operate networks in China or elsewhere – nor does it customize its products to make it easier to take part in censorship or repression.
May 24, 2011