Cisco sued by Chinese political prisoners for providing tech China uses to monitor, censor, suppress

An American lawyer is suing Cisco on behalf of Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, Liu Xianbin and 10 other unnamed Chinese political dissidents. They claim the company sells technology to China that enables the Chinese Communist Party to "monitor, censor and suppress the Chinese people," and compare Cisco's behavior to that of IBM in Nazi Germany. (


  1. This is a misdirected effort and confused analysis of responsibility. The root of the aggression (against Chinese dissidents and the Chinese people) is the Chinese government, not Cisco.

    It is fine to say that Cisco (or IBM) is not honorable or moral or well-behaved in some way, but it has committed no aggression and therefore deserves not to be used force against either.

    1. Dollars to doughnuts we have a libertarian above.

      Aiding injustice is itself unjust. I particularly like the IBM analogy.

    2. Cisco however, should not just roll over and implement these measures… Cisco’s rationale is that if they don’t do it, then someone else would jump in and do it anyway… Cisco therefore is guilty of aiding and abetting the Chinese government if these crimes against the human rights of the protestors…

    3. Your use of the word “force” as in “against Cisco” is totally incomparable with the “force” the PRC uses against whom they label dissidents. They are using the American court system presumably because it is their only option to seek justice. 

      The comparison between Cisco and IBM is valid, as no one in the information age (especially a technology company specializing in devices that make it possible) can feign ignorance to how the technology will be used by it’s clients – known oppressors.

      And in the case of the PRC, this is on a massive scale… which, not to belabor the point, translates into massive dollars for Cisco… who’s employees and shareholders have apparently no problem taking for granted their daily freedoms of which a mainland Chinese could not even begin to dream.

      How much responsibility should Cisco be forced to take? In my opinion, Plenty.

    4. Julien, Cisco is providing material support to the Chinese government to enable them to oppress their people. Here in the US, we execute people for providing material support to the wrong people.  

      Cisco’s behavior is loathsome. They should be punished—dearly punished—and their stockholders deserve to lose money on their stock. 

  2.  I used to work for Nortel, a direct competitor of Cisco, making the same tech that Cisco does.  Those features that let governments track, route and block communications at their whim don’t just happen, they are intentionally implemented because big customer wants them.

    It’s important to take action against companies that enable oppression to discourage other companies from enabling oppression in the future.

  3. In case some don’t know, Linksys was acquired by Cisco in 2003.  So if you buy Linksys… you buy (into) Cisco.  Just sayin…

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