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Cisco Supports Freedom of Expression, an Open Internet and Human Rights

First things first – Cisco believes in the Internet and its ability to educate, unite, empower, challenge, disrupt, collaborate, create and inspire, and the equipment we provide helps the Internet work.

Cisco strongly supports free expression and open communication on the Internet. We are proud to have played a leading role in helping to make Internet technology ubiquitous, allowing billions of people in nearly every nation around the world to access information previously unavailable or inaccessible.

Our goal in providing networking technology is to expand the reach of communications systems, and our products are built on open, global standards.  We do not support attempts by governments to balkanize the Internet or create a “closed” Internet because such attempts undermine the cause of freedom.  In fact, adherence to open standards is critical in the efforts to overcome censorship.

Our company has been accused in a pair of lawsuits of contributing to the mistreatment of dissidents in China, based on the assertion that we customize our equipment to participate in tracking of dissidents.  The lawsuits are inaccurate and entirely without foundation -- and in fact they simply recycle the identical allegations that were raised by the Falun Gong religious group three years ago, which were extensively reported at the time and discussed at a Congressional hearing, including reference to the same Chinese government statements about their goals for technology.   We have never customized our equipment to help the Chinese government—or any government—censor content, track Internet use by individuals or intercept Internet communications.

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