Thank You Cisco!

From Scripting News:

Peking Duck: "Yes, it appears the Chinese communist government has imposed a permanent nationwide ban on all sites."

Cisco made a shitload of money selling their firewalls to China. Whether they did anything special for China doesn't matter. Here's a link to an article in a recent Red Herring about China's firewall and Cisco's claims that they didn't sell anything out of the ordinary to China.

On May 30, Cisco Systems and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission received a proposed shareholder resolution (a method shareholders use to change corporate policy). The shareholder, who prefers not to be named, attacked the morality of Cisco's China operations and proposed that the company report annually to shareholders on all its products sold to state-owned entities in countries, like China, that employ national firewalls or monitor Internet traffic. Seven weeks later, Cisco's lawyers responded with an 18-page document (with narrow margins) rejecting the shareholder's proposal as unfeasible and inflammatory. Client confidentiality would be damaged on a global scale, according to Cisco. Plus, the company added, the shareholder's accusations were misleading: China's public security standards are equivalent to U.S. government standards, and Cisco has not "specially designed any products whatsoever for the government of the PRC to block or filter content."

While it may be technically correct that Cisco also sold its "special firewall box" to countries other than China (even though it may have first developed it for China), the company's portrayal of business-as-usual in China is disingenuous: it's unlikely Cisco was able to capture 75 percent of the Chinese router market without making major concessions to the Chinese government.

I don't think the specifics matters. The fact that they even sold one firewall the PRC pisses me off. I wish the U.S. government would get a clue and rip Cisco a new one. (Business friendly, human-rights hostile Republicans probably won't but one could always hope for a miracle.)


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