An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal explores how US companies, including Cisco, are working with the Chongqing government in a wide-ranging public infrastructure project.
First, as a matter of policy, Cisco has not and will not sell video surveillance cameras or video surveillance management software in its public infrastructure projects in China. We were offered an opportunity to supply those products in Chongqing and, contrary to the suggestion in the article, declined that opportunity.
Chongqing, as the largest municipality in the world, is seeking to provide a comprehensive set of e-government services, which the city describes as ‘Livable Chongqing, Smooth Chongqing (transportation), Green Chongqing, Peaceful Chongqing and Healthy Chongqing.’ The proposed goals of these initiatives include linking educational and health care institutions, public safety and using networking and smart building technology to drive energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cisco’s proposed participation in the Smart+Connected Communities project in Chongqing is based on standard, unmodified Cisco routing and switching equipment – the same equipment that is supplied to governments and private sector customers worldwide, in full compliance with US export regulations, which are based in part on human rights concerns, and does not include video surveillance hardware or software.
We believe strongly that our policies correctly assess the human rights concerns in the use of networking technologies, and our decisions as to the nature of our participation in this project and others are consistent with our corporate social responsibility policies and our codes of conduct. In particular, we believe that the sale and use of equipment built to global standards increase communication opportunities around the world and reduce the opportunities to deny citizens access to information.
For more on Cisco’s approach in China, please visit: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-supports-freedom-of-expression-an-open-internet-and-human-rights/