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14/06/2013

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John Suffolk

Dear John thank you very much for the time and trouble you have taken to post a comment. My first response was “how would John know the truth? Would he be told the reality?”

In terms of your statement how interesting I have heard similar statements from other vendors, which was duly ignored. Forgive me for being a little sceptical. You cannot deny that CISCO has been incredibly outspoken about blocking Chinese Tech vendors not just in America but globally; you cannot deny that CISCO gains the most, from business with the American Government and from the Chinese Government - you are deeply imbedded in both. You cannot deny that PRISM has indicated a close relationship between some American Tech vendors and the American Government. Logically one can reason that given CISCO and Juniper’s position in America, their spread of implementations in sensitive Government and enterprise infrastructures around the world questions should be asked about their relationship, If any, with the NSA (or other security agencies) and any other spying programmes that might exist.

Quotes such as "The Post (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/cisco-us-tech-firms-reportedly-urged-congress-to-investigate-huawei-zte-1103864)even found a seven-page sales presentation called "Huawei's & National Security," which is meant to give ammo to Cisco representatives on why clients should avoid Chinese competitors and go with American companies" and your Piranha strategy implies a culture of - we will do anything to stop competition – does anything mean working for the NSA for example in a "you scratch my back, I will scratch yours" kind of way? I accept that you might have a different view on the perception and implications of this pervasive culture and indeed what I, and others, write is far from reality.

So just as CISCO and Juniper have been active in questioning political links of non-American tech vendors and raising security fears, you should not be surprised if customers and Governments around the world, in the light of PRISM, now pose questions about American Tech vendors who hold a position where they have the means of contributing to NSA’s strategic arsenal of tools and techniques to exfiltrate data on their targets. CISCO and Juniper have both the means and the motive, however it does not, mean that you have taken the equivalent of the Kings shilling, but it is right for Governments to assess their risks based on this new information and ask is the risk worth it.

Let me reiterate my personal view, I believe in open markets, innovations and competition. I do not believe companies or Governments should use cyber security as a trade barrier – we have a global challenge we must collectively address.

I look forward to CISCO and Juniper positively promoting and welcoming free trade, innovation and competition in America. I look forward to America opening up its markets as China has done to CISCO and Juniper. There are no winners if other Governments adopt the “American Closed for Competition” model and limit access to their markets. All Governments can copy this and they have more reason to given the recent PRISM revelations.

Urnhart

I am a spokesperson for Cisco and you can attribute the following to me:

“Cisco does not in any way participate in the monitoring of information by governments including the U.S. government’s PRISM program. Further, Cisco does not monitor communications of private citizens or government organizations in China or anywhere in the world. We sell the same equipment globally, including both in China and the United States, with no customization for purposes of such programs.

John Earnhardt
Director, Communications
Cisco
San Jose, CA, USA
@urnhart on Twitter

Ian Grant

Schadenfreude, eh, John?

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