Lawsuit Against Cisco on Rights Abuses in China to Test Legal Reach
In May and June this year, three Chinese dissidents and the Human Rights Law Foundation filed two lawsuits in the US against Cisco Systems Inc., accusing the technology company of aiding and abetting human rights abuses in China. The plaintiffs are suing under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which mainly has been used in cases against oil and mining companies. Daniel Ward, the lawyer representing the dissidents, states that Cisco has provided the Chinese Government with technology that censor the internet and track opponents of the government. The outcome of these cases will demonstrate whether technology companies could be held accountable when foreign governments use their products for repression and in violation of civil rights.