Thursday, August 25, 2011

EFF Told CISCO Stop Helping Communism Regime Abuse Human Rights

One unique characteristic of high tech companies in the Internet era was their conscience awareness. Google's unofficial 'do no evil' earned them not only reputation and respect, but businesses.

However, there are a few exceptions. One is Yahoo, the other is Cisco. Both earned commissions on helping the communism regime in detecting and putting human rights activists in jail.

Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a campaign to tell Cisco: Stop Helping China Abuse Human Rights.

Tell Cisco: Stop helping China abuse human rights!

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!

Reports indicate that networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc., an American company based in Silicon Valley, has been knowingly selling Internet surveillance and censorship tools to the Chinese government for years. The Chinese government's "Great Firewall" prevents Internet users in China from accessing much of the Internet, including online references to Tiananmen Square and the Jasmine Revolution, as well as social media sites like Facebook. 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.

Du Daobin, a dissident writer in China, was reportedly detained and interrogated by the Chinese government specifically about a lawsuit he and other Chinese dissidents brought against Cisco. In June 2011, the activists sued Cisco and a number of Cisco executives in the United States District Court in Maryland for their "knowing and willful aiding and abetting of the Chinese government's harassment, arrest, and torture of Chinese political activists."

According to his lawyers,
Mr. Du's persecution began in 2003, when he was arrested while his house was raided by Chinese authorities. On June 11, 2004, he was charged with "inciting to subvert state power" and was sentenced to three years in prison for posting pro-democracy articles online. Instead of immediately serving that sentence, he was placed under probation for four years, after which it was determined that he violated the terms of his probation and was then forced to serve his original three year prison sentence. During his imprisonment, Mr. Du was subjected to extreme physical and psychological torture. By the time of his release in 2010, Du was suffering from extreme malnutrition, cardiac issues, could no longer walk without assistance, and was dependent on a wheelchair.
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. 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.

An in-depth discussion of the background o this case can be found at EFF's site by clicking here.

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