Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cisco will help China to monitor its citizens

Cisco will be a major partner of the Chinese government in creating a video surveillance system composed of 500,000 cameras in the city of Chongqing. The official purpose of this program called Peaceful Chongqing is to fight crime, but the associations for the protection of human rights argue that this is an easier way to track and arrest political dissidents, according to the Wall Street Journal that believes that it could be a video surveillance system the largest in the world.

The city of Chongqing has an area of over 82 000 km2. By comparison, it is twice as large as the Aquitaine region. According to the newspaper, Cisco will provide, as part of this project, the network equipment required to operate a system for monitoring large and complex. U.S. law prohibits the export to China of some tools that could be used for law enforcement purposes.

This is for example the case of fingerprint readers. However, associations rise up the lack of relevance of the law does not prohibit the export of cameras or software censoring the Internet. Cisco declined comment and said only that he did not sell cameras or video surveillance solutions.

This case, however, tarnishes his image a bit when he was charged last May to provide the equipment used by the Chinese government to capture members of the Falun Gong religious movement (see "Cisco accused of helping China block Internet "). It would not however the only American to participate in the operation.
HP could sell servers and storage solutions.

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