ELECTRONIC RIGHTS GROUP, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has told Cisco to help stop the Chinese government from violating the human rights of its citizens.
The group is reacting to the networking firm's earlier announcement that it would help the Chinese government build up an extensive camera surveillance network in Chongqing. This, as well as its assistance in building the Great Firewall of China, should give it enough leverage to convince its new friend to stop abusing its citizens' human rights.
"This is the same company that sold equipment to China to build the Great Firewall, which prevents Chinese Internet users from accessing much of the Internet, including online references to the Tiananmen Square protests, information on China's human rights abuses, and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter," wrote the EFF's Jillian York in a blog post.
"Reports indicate that Cisco has also customized its technology to help China with surveillance of political activists. We've had our eye on Cisco for years; in 2010, they were at the top of our list of 'companies of interest' selling surveillance technologies to repressive regimes."
The EFF said that Cisco should use its influence with the Chinese government and try to encourage it to stop this sort of abuse. It is also calling on the internet to join its cause and write to the company and urge it to act more responsibly.
"Chinese dissident writer Du Daobin may face imprisonment and torture for trying to hold Cisco accountable. Urge Cisco Systems to intervene on Mr. Du's behalf and to stop helping China abuse human rights. Sign our petition now!," it says in a call to action on its web pages.
Referring to the help that Cisco has given the government, it added, "In addition to blocking access to information, these tools have enabled the Chinese government to spy on its citizens and may include special customization to target individuals working to protect human rights and build democracy in China."
The case of Du Daobin, a dissident writer in China who is apparently being detained and interrogated by the Chinese government, has caused the EFF to act now,
"We believe Mr. Du has since been released, but he still faces the possibility of more imprisonment and torture for challenging an American company's policies and speaking out against censorship," said the organisation.
"Help us defend this political activist, and call on American companies to defend human rights rather than selling the tools of repression! Sign our petition to tell Cisco to intervene on behalf of Mr. Du and to commit to standing up for human rights." µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster