Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Excellent Reuters article on Du v. Cisco and Doe v. Cisco

September 8, 2011

Sui-Lee Wee has written an excellent and comprehensive article, Insight: Cisco suits on China rights abuses to test legal reach, that provides substantial background and analysis of Cisco’s actions in China, and the legal issues surrounding the current litigation.  In addition to quotes from Daniel Ward (re: Du v. Cisco) and Terri Marsh (re: Doe v. Cisco), the article also quotes Du Daobin and Zhou Yuanzhi, two of the Plaintiffs in Du v. Cisco.  In the article Du states the following:

Du, 48, who was jailed for posting articles under a pseudonym on the Internet criticizing the Chinese Communist Party’s rule, said Western technology companies should not cooperate with a government that violates civil rights.

“This kind of cooperation hurts us as well as the companies’ business,” he said. “The publication of our articles are closely monitored and once they’re published, we will end up in jail.”

Du said he was interrogated by police in early August about the lawsuit, but added that the case was “not only for myself, but also for the freedom of every individual in China, to put an end forever to China’s ‘literary jail.’

As we have stated previously, there is no doubt there is more evidence out there regarding Cisco’s ongoing support of the Chinese Communist Party’s continued oppression of its citizens.  If you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Ward.  Any such communications will be kept confidential.

Let Cisco Systems know that their continued and knowing support of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to violate the human rights of peaceful political dissidents like Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, and Liu Xianbin will no longer be tolerated.  Contact your elected representatives — let them know how you feel.  Finally, if you haven’t already done so, sign the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition– Tell Cisco: Stop helping China abuse human rights!.

Continued Media Attention on Du v. Cisco

August 30, 2011

Over the past week, there has been increased media attention on Du v. Cisco.

Last Monday, Daniel Ward was interviewed on Asia Pacific Forum, for a segment titled “Partners in the Police State? US Tech Giant Cisco Sued for Aiding China.”  Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation was also interviewed for that segment.

Yesterday, Daniel Ward was interviewed on the Marketplace Tech Report, for a segment titled “Suit says Cisco is helping China commit Crimes.”  John Palfrey, co-director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a professor at Harvard Law School, was also interviewed for that segment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists recently wrote about Du v. Cisco in a post titled “In lawsuit, Chinese writers allege Cisco aids government.”  That article observes that “The threat of legal action may encourage other businesses to examine any potential negative impact of their activities in China” and provides the following quote from EFF’s Cindy Cohn:

“It’s no longer acceptable for companies to plead ignorance about how technology they sell is used,” said Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s incumbent upon experts in the field to create standards to guide companies in making ethical business practices, so that companies like Cisco can’t delude themselves or their investors about the blood-stained profits they derived from their business deals with China or other authoritarian governments.”

The growing attention given to Cisco’s actions in China should give Cisco, and other American corporations working with the Chinese Communist Party, pause and concern over their continued willingness to accept “blood-stained profits” from the Chinese Communist Party.

Let Cisco Systems know that their support of the Chinese Communist Party, and its efforts to violate the human rights of peaceful political dissidents like Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, and Liu Xianbin will no longer be tolerated by contacting your elected representatives and by signing the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition– Tell Cisco: Stop helping China abuse human rights!.

Excellent Electronic Frontier Foundation Post on Du v. Cisco

August 22, 2011

The EFF continues its active interest in Du v. Cisco.  The EFF’s recent post, “Cisco and Abuses of Human Rights in China: Part 1” provides a comprehensive background on Du v. Cisco and addresses the ethical issues corporations face when dealing with oppressive regimes.  It is an excellent read for any and all interested in these important issues.

Most important to this of us involved in Du v. Cisco was the EFF’s call for action (directed at Cisco) to preserve the safety of our clients.  In the post, the EFF writes:

“To clarify, we are asking Cisco to contact their customers and business partners in the Chinese government and tell them not to target the plaintiffs in Du v. Cisco or Doe v. Cisco. We hope Cisco will prove that they don’t condone bullying tactics used to repress free speech and that they believe these disputes should be settled under the rule of law, not the iron fist. We’d be particularly pleased if Cisco would make a public statement about their stance on the continued safety of the plaintiffs – and it would certainly go a long way to improving their public image at this time when the world is watching. But above all, we urge Cisco to use every method at their disposal to ensure that Du Daobin and all of the plaintiffs in both cases make it through the court process, and beyond, unharmed by Chinese officials.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Hopefully Cisco does as well, and will let the Chinese Communist Party know that their harassment of the Du Plaintiffs (and those in Doe v. Cisco) is neither wanted nor helpful.  Time will tell.  I am looking forward to reading “Part II” of this series.

Daniel Ward interviewed tonight at 9:00 PM re: Du v. Cisco

August 22, 2011

Daniel Ward will be interviewed this evening at 9:00 PM on the Asia Pacific Forum about Du v. Cisco in a segment titled “Partners in the Police State?  US Tech Giant Cisco Sued for Aiding China.”  If you are in the New York City listening area, tune in to WBAI, 99.5.  Otherwise, listen on the web.

Again, the safety of our clients in Du v. Cisco is dependent, in no small part, on the fact that the world is watching.  Keep watching, and let Cisco know you are are watching by signing the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition– Tell Cisco: Stop helping China abuse human rights!  We also ask that you contact your elected representatives in Congress and let them know that complicity in the abuse of human rights by American corporations should no longer be tolerated.

Further Coverage of Du v. Cisco

August 16, 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald article addressing the Du v. Cisco lawsuit  has generated additional media interest.  The Frontline, a UK technology website run by V3, has also taken an interest in Du v. Cisco.  The Frontline article, “Cisco implicated in Chinese human rights abuses as second Golden Shield lawsuit gathers pace” is certainly worth a read.

As I have previously stated, recent events lead us to believe that the safety of our clients in Du v. Cisco is dependent, in no small part, on the fact that the world is watching.  Keep watching, and let Cisco know you are watching.

Sydney Morning Herald Article on Du Daobin v. Cisco

August 16, 2011

Asher Moses, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Technology Editor, wrote an excellent article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald outlining the Du v. Cisco lawsuit and Cisco’s activities in China in general.  While the U.S. media has been slow to report on this issue, we are enthused to see such in-depth reporting from esteemed outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald and the Economist.

Recent events lead us to believe that the safety of our clients in Du v. Cisco is dependent, in no small part, on the fact that the world is watching.  Keep watching, and let Cisco know you are watching.

Daobin v. Cisco — Du Daobin Interrogated by Ministry of Public Security

August 2, 2011

Du Daobin, one of three named plaintiffs in a human rights lawsuit brought by Ward & Ward, PLLC against Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”) alleging knowing and willful enablement of the Chinese Communist Party’s harassment, arrest, and torture of Chinese political activists, was questioned this morning by Chinese Communist Party officials regarding his involvement in the lawsuit.

Mr. Du was detained this morning by Chinese police and interrogated by senior officials from China’s Ministry of Public Security. Wu Xiaodang, the Deputy Political Commissar of Yingcheng Public Security Bureau, and Chen Enhong, Captain of Yincheng State Security Guards, directed the interrogation of Mr. Du. Mr. Du’s interrogators first warned him about his recent Internet activity (which they monitor) and then demanded information about his role in Du Daobin et al. v. Cisco Systems, Inc (“Du v. Cisco”), including the names of his contacts in China and America.

Mr. Du has long been a victim of China’s Cisco-engineered “Golden Shield Project,” a sophisticated system of Internet filters and censoring techniques, which both restricts access to content disfavored by the CCP, and allows “Internet police” to identify the sources of such disfavored content. The Golden Shield Project is used by the CCP to eliminate all references to, inter alia: Tiananmen Square; Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate (currently imprisoned by the CCP); the Jasmine Revolution sweeping through the Middle East; and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This recent harassment is yet another example of the CCP’s ongoing persecution of political writers and activists across China – persecution knowingly aided by American technology companies like Cisco.

Cisco has been involved in the filtering, censoring, and altering of the Internet in China since at least 2002, when it began working on the “Golden Shield Project.” Cisco provides the CCP with the technology and training necessary to develop, operate and expand the Golden Shield Project.

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.

Following his release, Du became aware of Cisco’s role in engineering the CCP’s “Golden Shield” and “PoliceNet” systems, the surveillance systems used to identify and track him and countless other pro-democracy activists and writers across China.

Despite fear of retribution, Du chose to hold Cisco accountable. In June 2011, Mr. Du, along with Zhou Yuanzhi and Liu Xianbin, filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland against Cisco and a number of Cisco executives for their knowing and willful aiding and abetting of the CCP’s harassment, arrest, and torture of Chinese political activists..

The CCP seeks, once again, to undermine Mr. Du’s fundamental human rights through coercion and intimidation. These tactics of fear and oppression have not deterred Mr. Du. We call upon Cisco to use its extensive ties with the CCP to ensure that Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, and Liu Xianbin are not subjected to harassment, interrogation, detention, or physical abuse as a result of their involvement in Du v. Cisco.

The Chinese Communist Party should know that the world is watching.

For further information, please contact Daniel S. Ward.