Cisco has been accused off creating an internet monitoring tool used by the Chinese government to repress a religious group.
The lawsuit, which seeks to gain class-action status, has been filed in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose by the Human Rights Law Foundation on behalf of the Falun Gong.
Cisco has been accused of creating an internet surveillance tool that allowed the Chinese government to spy and suppress the members of the religious movement in China. The lawsuit claims that Cisco provided the Chinese government with a tool codenamed the Golden Shield, which allowed it to censor the group’s online activities and track members.
Because of Cisco’s technology, members of the Falun Gong religious movement suffered from imprisonment, torture, and wrongful death, the lawsuit claimed. The lawsuit claimed that the software, which was offered by Cisco as Policenet, resulted in the arrest of more than 5,000 Falun Gong members.
Cisco meanwhile dismissed the lawsuit as baseless and said that it battle the accusations in the court.
“Cisco does not operate networks in China or elsewhere, nor does Cisco customize our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression,” said a Cisco representative, CNET reports.