The Financial Times reports:
Senior executives at Cisco Systems worked closely with Chinese government security agents to tailor hardware and software they knew would be used to track, detain and torture followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, according to a US federal lawsuit filed last week.
The suit accuses the networking company’s chief executive John Chambers and leaders of Cisco’s China business of close collaboration with Beijing, citing statements on company websites, at trade shows and in internal documents.
The 52-page complaint was brought by the Washington-based Human Rights Law Foundation, which has handled other legal issues for Falun Gong followers, on behalf of residents in the US and survivors of some said to have been killed in China for their participation in Falun Gong activities.
Cisco has faced criticism in the past for allowing its routers, which have the greatest share of the world market by revenue, to play a crucial role in China’s massive internet blocking and surveillance.
The suit says that by 2007 Cisco and its executives had “played a major role in the high-level design, implementation and post-production support” of a project called Golden Shield, “with solutions specifically tailored to isolate, surveil and suppress Falun Gong practitioners in China”.
[Continues at Financial Times]