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June 22, 2005


Mike G

Here's an irony in regards to your Cisco item above:

The last few episodes of 24 this season, which prominently featured China as a bad guy, also prominently featured lots of Cisco product placement.


FYI, Blogspot has been blocked for a long while already.


> Why doesn't the Global Internet Freedom
> Act address corporate complicity at all?

Because freedom for me means freedom for thee. I don't think that that asking my government to crack down on the liberties of other Americans is the right route to having the Chinese government stop cracking down on Chinese citizens.


So you're saying that Cisco Systems is complicit in the actions of the Chinese government because the Chinese network infrastructure is built using Cisco equipment? That's like saying that General Motors is complicit in political repression because Chinese leaders are driven around in Cadillacs. It's like saying that Caterpillar is complicit in the displacement of countless Chinese villagers becuase their earthmoving equipment has been used in the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.

Unless you can provide concrete evidence that Cisco has and is conspiring directly with the Chinese government to monitor and censor their population's internet traffic (as opposed to just selling them equipment with capabilities that can and are being misused), then I'd say your cute little graphic is just serving to obscure the nature of what is going on by diffusing the blame.


So Rebecca, shopped at Wal-Mart recently? How about those shoes you wear when you jog--where are they made?

It is easy to point at the 'other guy' and how 'they' have to be held responsible. Less easy to point at ourselves, and hold ourselves to blame.

Buck starts at home.


Curt: Incase you haven't been keeping up on the news, GM moved 2 engine plants, and two assembly plants to China. They are directly funding political repression now. Along with a host of other compaines.

Even being an evil capitalist, I find it distainful to be dealing with communists and stalinists.

Rob S

This is a big problem. U.S. companies should not be doing business with this oppressive regime. And I'm a pro-capitalist kind of person. There are limits though. Is it right to put low costs for goods above all other values? No. Are people who buy goods made in China evil? I don't think so. It's gotten to the point that we can hardly avoid it. What's the answer? I don't know. I do know that people who value democracy should do something soon.



I never suggested that GM or a "whole host of other companies" is not doing business in China. In fact my point is based on the common knowledge that most large US corporations *are* doing business with communist China. All I'm saying is that no evidence has been provided to demonstrate that Cisco has directly engaged in censorship of internet content in China. But does the act of doing business there automatically make one culpable for all of the atrocities commited there? If I sold a hammer to my neighbor, would I be responsible if he proceded to use that hammer to bludgeon his wife? I thought he was going to use it to drive some nails.

In fact, let me go one step further and ask the folks that want to drag Cisco into this affair what they would like to see instead. If Cisco and all other large networking equipment manufacturers were to refuse to sell their products in China, would China have a connection to the global internet? If not, is that situation preferable to the one we have now?

For the record, Mashiki, I too am an evil capitalist, and I also think there are a *large* number of good reasons to not be doing business with communist China. I just don't see that as the point of discussion here.

bill bishop

People should not be surprised. Right or wrong, this is the only way for companies to be able to run Internet businesses in China right now. That said, what does surprise me is that, given the current attitude in Washington towards China, no one in Congress has yet called hearings on US corporate complicity in China and subpoenaed companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Cisco to explain exactly what they are doing with the Chinese authorities. That would make for very interesting testimony. Maybe it will happen, but somehow I think the lobbyists will prevent it. Call me cynical.

And if President Bush really means what he said in his last State of the Union, why is his administration not clamoring for hearings?



Crrent mood in Washington about the Chinese? GW Bush loves 'em. So much that he'd let them stay on the MFN trade list. Not to mention his kissing up to the vietnamese dictator as well.

Free trade with free countries only!

And *my* shoes are made by a union plant in Portugal ( adbusters.com )

Visit my web page and ask for a free "Boycott China" bumper sticker!

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