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Technology giant Cisco is being sued by Chinese political prisoners for allegedly providing the technology and expertise used by the Chinese Communist Party to monitor, censor and suppress the country’s citizens. Cisco, while rejecting the allegations as baseless, had publicly stated that it helped the CCP build its Golden Shield and Policenet web monitoring systems, commonly referred to as the Great Firewall of China. The case has been brought by US law firm Ward & Ward on behalf of several dissidents.
US-based Cisco Systems Inc and Hewlett-Packard, along with a handful of other Western technology companies, are set to provide crucial network equipment for a massive CCTV surveillance project in the city of Chongqing. Known as “Peaceful Chongqing” the network of about 500,000 cameras will spread over nearly 400 square miles, it will police intersections, neighborhoods and parks. Chinese officials say the added surveillance will prevent crime but human-rights advocates fear it will be used to silence political dissidents.