My colleague Rebecca MacKinnon is in Washington, DC today trying her best to follow Congressional hearings on the behaviors and possible codes of conduct for American companies engaging with the Chinese market. She offers her observations on the testimony that Google, Cisco, Yahoo and Microsoft have offered, as well as the open statements by Representative Chris Smith and Representative Tom Lantos. I’m anxious to see her analysis of these statements when she’s got more time to analyze what was and wasn’t said. For a preview, here’s part of her reaction to Cisco’s statement:
They don’t confirm or deny whether they do or don’t provide instruction, training and/or service which helps customers use the routers for censorship purposes, or whether they market their technology to Chinese corporate and government customers with this function as a selling point.
He also does not address the fact that Cisco sells surveillance equipment to the Chinese Public Security Bureau, an institution with a well-documented track-record of human rights abuses. Although previously one Cisco spokesman told me that’s not a problem because it’s not illegal.
Declan McCullagh offers his coverage of the issue on CNet.