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Cisco Supports LEADS Act

The world’s economy is increasingly interconnected. Continued economic growth stems from companies being able to move data freely across borders without being caught between conflicting legal requirements.  Governments also face challenges in their efforts to protect public safety when data needed to conduct lawful investigations are stored in the cloud. Internet users, in turn, expect that their email will receive protections that are equivalent to those afforded paper documents. Therefore, the challenge we face is to develop a modern, efficient, transparent mechanism that protects reasonable expectations of user privacy when law enforcement demands access to the contents of electronic communications in the cloud.

Today, Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to tackle this important problem.

Theirs is a companion to a bill introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Chris Coons (D-DE) earlier this month.

On behalf of Cisco, I’d like to thank these members for their leadership and to express support for the goals of their legislation.

The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act offers a new framework for striking the balance between the government’s need to investigate crime and the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure in the context of a globally connected world.

This proposal builds upon bipartisan efforts to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in both the House and the Senate, which we also support.

Cisco urges Congress to take up these important issues quickly.

We continue to believe that the security threats facing nations are real and significant, and governments need to be able to take steps to address these threats and protect their citizens against crime and terrorism. At the same time, we must update our laws so that they respect innovation and enable new technologies to grow.

Cisco Statement on FCC Decision to Regulate the Internet

“When the FCC Chairman’s office originally unveiled open Internet rules last year, Cisco cheered the proposal, because we support an open Internet and believe that balanced rules that protect consumers and prevent anti-competitive behavior are necessary and appropriate.

Unfortunately, the rules adopted by the FCC today bear little resemblance to the original proposal. They impose far-reaching Title II regulation on Internet access and services. We believe this will inhibit investment in wired and wireless broadband and limit consumer choice in new and innovative services relating to telemedicine, distance learning, and the Internet of Everything.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will study the new rules to see how they impact broadband investment. But we view the decision to impose heavy-handed regulation, rather than a balanced approach, as a missed opportunity.

Ultimately, this issue will be decided by the Courts and Congress, which will have the final say on the matter.”

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Statement of Mark Chandler on the IEEE Decision on Patent Clarifications

“Today’s decision by the IEEE Board of Directors is a significant victory for consumers and for those who want a reasonable and stable patent system that supports innovation.

In making this decision, the IEEE supported those companies who are willing to both grant and receive licenses for patents required for use in IEEE standards on reasonable terms.  We congratulate the IEEE for resisting pressure from the few who wanted to use the patent system to force unreasonable costs on makers and users of everyday products like smartphones and wireless routers.

Today’s decision will help ensure that owners of patents required to implement standards won’t be able to use their leverage to obtain unreasonable royalties.

Cisco will work with the IEEE and other stakeholders to ensure that the new clarifications are implemented in a fair and equitable manner.”

Statement of Mary Brown on new FCC Rules on 911

The FCC today unanimously adopted new rules that will require improved location data to be delivered to 911 call centers from wireless phones.

This decision is an important step forward in generating a dispatchable address from wireless phones located indoors, helping ensure that first responders can reach victims as quickly as possible. When fully implemented, technologies like these will help save lives. But there is considerable work to be done, and Cisco will work with first responders, service providers, the FCC and enterprises to help reach this goal.

There are many technologies that have a role to play when a consumer dials 911 from his or her mobile phone, and chief among those technologies is Wi-Fi.  In fact, because Wi-Fi Access Points are associated with a civic, dispatchable address, Wi-Fi generated location data from residential locations will play an important role in achieving the goals established by the FCC for locating 911 wireless callers.

Various market sources indicate Wi-Fi penetration of US households is almost 60 percent. Households with fixed line broadband use Wi-Fi more heavily, with Wi-Fi penetration at 80 percent.  Consistent with historical growth in the market, Cisco expects Wi-Fi household penetration to continue to increase, and believes Wi-Fi can be an important tool toward finding callers.

Enterprises can help, too, because emergencies also happen at work.  A recent Cisco survey of enterprises with more than 100 employees shows that 80 percent of companies either have Wi-Fi everywhere or in designated areas.

Technology is available today to connect enterprise Wi-Fi location data to first responders, and Cisco will enthusiastically support industry and first responders in implementing the FCC’s decision.”

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Coordinated Malware Eradication Coalition Clarification

In 2014, Cisco joined the Coordinated Malware Eradication (CME) coalition, where multiple companies cooperate to stop the growing malware threat that all customers are experiencing.  In one case, Cisco researched and published malware and activity that was using a remote access tool (RAT) called ZxShell (also known as Sensocode).

Our public blog posts may be found here:
•              Threat Spotlight: Group 72
•              Threat Spotlight: Group 72, Opening the ZxShell

The Cisco team did the ZxShell technical analysis because Novetta, Inc., who is also part of the CME, began researching a new threat in September 2014, and reached out to other member companies to help.  Novetta asked Cisco to analyze the ZxShell malware only, understand its technical nature and capability only, and publish our results – our technical results are published in the second blog post above.  This was Novetta’s only request.  Novetta referenced our technical results, but they did not ask, nor did we participate, cooperate, or contribute in the researching, identifying, or naming of who developed the malware or deployed the malware.

We are disappointed that the appearance of Cisco’s logo on the cover of the Novetta report may suggest that Cisco endorses all of the report conclusions, including conclusions that China was behind the activity described in the report.  We only endorse our findings about the technical attributes of ZxShell; the rest of Novetta’s report is unrelated to Cisco and the conclusions are their own.

We focus on protecting our customers through technical analysis of the attacks, and creating protections against them.

Cyber-attacks are global and the attacks must be stopped.  Our fundamental security objective is to protect all customers, be transparent, and be their trusted partner.  We hope this clears up any misconceptions.