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Cisco To Provide Chinese Government With Urban Surveillance Equipment?

New reports suggest that world’s largest networking equipment maker Cisco Systems is planning to assist the Chinese government to help control crime on the streets with its new-generation surveillance gear.

A report by the Wall Street Journal claims that the networking giant is one of the few western companies, bidding for the project, dubbed “Peaceful Chongqing”, which will see 500,000 cameras being installed throughout the city of Chongqing.

The Chinese government claims that the move is aimed at controlling the growing number of street crimes, whereas skeptics fear that the real motive behind, what could eventually be the world’s largest city-wide surveillance system, is actually to suppress any future political uprising against the government.

It is important to note here though, that the US imposed a ban on exporting crime-control equipment such as finger-print scanners in 1989 following the brutal crackdown on the Tiananmen protests. However, the country did not put sanctions on the export of equipment such as cameras.

Cisco was reportedly brought on to the scene by the Chinese security company Hikvision Digital Technology Co, which also happens to be the main contractor of the project. Cisco has not officially confirmed though whether or not it is going to take part in the project.