The Human Rights Law Foundation (HRLF) claims to have new evidence in its case against Cisco proving that the company knew its equipment would be used by the Chinese authorities to monitor dissidents and breach human rights.
The new evidence, seen by V3, reveals that Cisco was allegedly aware of the way in which its equipment would be used to track Falun Gong followers, but went ahead with the sale regardless.
Among the new information is that Cisco allegedly revealed in a private PowerPoint slide that its IronPort products were "the only product on the market capable of recognising over 90 per cent of Falun Gong pictures".
According to the lawyers who filed the case, the evidence clearly supports the conclusion that Cisco was involved in the final step of the customisation and configuring of its product to recognise and inspect for Falun Gong information.
Further new evidence claims that a Cisco employee answered a question during an online Q&A that provided direct evidence of how Cisco equipment could be used to trace internet users searching for information on Falun Gong.
"Cisco's equipment, for instance IDS/IPS, is able to create definitions and alerts for phrases in HTTP and other applications, and even disconnect the connection. This is possible from a theoretical perspective," the engineer allegedly wrote.
HRLF executive director Terri Marsh told V3 the new evidence strongly suggests that Cisco was fully aware that the Chinese government was already persecuting Falun Gong believers and would use Cisco technology to do so as well.
"Cisco created solutions intended specifically to help the Party and public security officers identify and track Falun Gong believers, thereby subjecting them to the same mental and physical torture and persecution that was already part of the routine," she said.
Marsh claimed that Cisco was fully aware of the consequences for those accused of being Falun Gong believers, but sold its products anyway.
"Cisco knew that once Falun Gong believers were identified, apprehended and detained the Public Security officers would subject them to far more acts of injustice than arbitrary arrest and detention," she said.
"They knew that members of the peaceful religion would be subject to ideological conversion, other forms of torture and, in some instances, extrajudicial killing."
Cisco said that it is reviewing the amended complaint, but reiterated its early stance that it will vigorously defend against the accusations.
"Cisco does not operate networks in China or elsewhere, nor does Cisco customise our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression," the firm said.
"Cisco builds equipment to global standards which facilitate free exchange of information, and we sell the same equipment in China that we sell in other nations in strict compliance with US government regulations."
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