Friday, May 23, 2008

Report on U.S. Senate Subcomittee Hearing that Suggests CISCO Collaborating Closely with Chinese Authorities on Internet Censorship

At a hearing before a Senate subcommittee that focuses on human rights and the Internet, Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) focused on a PowerPoint presentation that discussed China's "combat" of "evil religious groups," such as Falun Gong, which the Chinese government has banned since 1999.

Shiyu Zhou, deputy director of the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, testified that it had obtained the presentation titled Cisco Opportunities [in the Golden Shield Project], which showed Cisco working closely with the government on an elaborate scheme to control what information is available on the Internet in China.

"Cisco offers much more than just routers; it offers planning, construction, technical training, and operations maintenance for the Golden Shield," Zhou said. "Our research shows that the infrastructure of China's Great Firewall coincides with the layouts in Cisco (China)'s PowerPoint document."

Zhou charged that "Cisco can no longer assure Congress that Cisco (China) has not been and is not now an accomplice and partner in China's Internet repression and, whether directly or indirectly, in its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and other peaceful citizens in China."

Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler said he was "appalled" to see the reference to Falun Gong in the slide presentation and asserted that Cisco merely sells generic network equipment to China without customizing it to work with the Golden Shield.

"We disavow the implication that this (presentation) in any way reflects Cisco's views," Chandler said. He added that "employees who would customize our products in such a way as to undermine human rights" would violate the company's "extensive code of conduct."

The industry has been working for two years on a voluntary code of conduct for doing business in China, and Durbin signaled that congressional patience is wearing thin. Industry negotiations are "intolerably slow," he said.

Full text of this report can be found here

1 comment:

Jackie Xu said...

Dear Mr. Charles Burton,

I am an ordnary Chinese people living in Toronto. I like your view on China and your friendship with China. I happened to see that you might have some misunderstanding on Falun Gong. I think I have to tell you something about Falun Gong by myself since I personally experience the Falong Gong in my home province when I was in University.

1. When I was 22 years old in University. My friend wanted to teach me Falong Gong. However, I quickly found that Falong Gong IS a evil group and did tell people lots of evil behaviors and wired concept of your life. I also read the whole Falong Gong book and found that the author-Li HongZhi is really a person with very less common sense education.

2. Till now, Majority Chinese people(Deomestic or Abroad) DOES NOT like Falun Gong people at all. Mojority Chinese people support China Communist Party on the ban.

So I beg you please do not support Falun Gong people.

I have lots of details to share with you if you are intersted. I can talk with you over the phone or by email. my number is 416-918-9887. email is