A federal lawsuit against Cisco was dismissed by the District court of Maryland. Cisco had been accused of assisting the Chinese government to censor, monitor and control online speech made by political dissidents.
The court found there were legitimate usages for the networking equipment designed and manufactured by Cisco, such as routing and passing internet traffics.
The finding of the District Court contradicted to a monumental supreme court ruling in 2005 MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (04-480), while the top court found that a company might be found liable for if they encouraged users on illegal usage of its products, even if that product might support legitimate usages. Grokster lost the file-sharing case and subsequently fell because they advertised file piracy, even when they demonstrated in the court (and accepted by a lower court) that their product was useful in lawful distributing files.
Cisco had produced and distributed printed materials boasting the censorship and monitoring capability of its routers to Chinese government.
The case was Du Daobin, et al, v. CISCO Systems, Inc. et. al, 8:11-cv-01538-PJM.