Cisco berates US government over router tampering

US undermining goals of free communication

Hacking

Cisco's legal counsel has blasted the US government over accusations the NSA has been tampering with communications equipment.

The spy agency has reportedly been intercepting shipments of routers, switches and servers in order to hide their surveillance equipment.

Writing in a blog post, Cisco's legal counsel Mark Chandler said that the actions of the US government have overreached, "undermining the goals of free communication".

We expect our government to value and respect this trust.

"Confidence in the open, global internet has brought enormous economic benefits to the United States and to billions around the world," said Chandler.

"This confidence has been eroded by revelations of government surveillance, by efforts of the US government to force US companies to provide access to communications of non-US citizens even when that violates the privacy laws of countries where US companies do business, and allegations that governments exploit rather than report security vulnerabilities in products."

Chandler said that it was Cisco's policy and practice not to work with any government, the US included, to weaken its products.

"When we learn of a security vulnerability, we respond by validating it, informing our customers, and fixing it.

"We react the same when we find that a customer's security has been impacted by external forces, regardless of what country or form of government or how that security breach occurred. We offer customers robust tools to defend their environments against attack, and detect attacks when they are happening. By doing these things, we have built and maintained our customers' trust.

"We expect our government to value and respect this trust."

Last December, eight technology companies expressed concern to US President Barack Obama and Congress that the US government's surveillance efforts as revealed by Snowden were harmful.

Chandler said that the revelations over hardware tampering were damaging and his firm should not expect the government to act in this manner.

"We comply with US laws, like those of many other countries, which limit exports to certain customers and destinations," said Chandler.

"We ought to be able to count on the government to then not interfere with the lawful delivery of our products in the form in which we have manufactured them. To do otherwise, and to violate legitimate privacy rights of individuals and institutions around the world, undermines confidence in our industry."

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

President Biden picks Jessica Rosenworcel as acting FCC chief
Policy & legislation

President Biden picks Jessica Rosenworcel as acting FCC chief

22 Jan 2021
Global ransom DDoS extortionists are retargeting companies
distributed denial of service (DDOS)

Global ransom DDoS extortionists are retargeting companies

22 Jan 2021
Best ransomware removal tools
ransomware

Best ransomware removal tools

22 Jan 2021
Hackers publish over 4,000 files stolen from SEPA in ransomware attack
Security

Hackers publish over 4,000 files stolen from SEPA in ransomware attack

22 Jan 2021

Most Popular

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

21 Jan 2021
What is the Raspberry Pi Pico?
Hardware

What is the Raspberry Pi Pico?

21 Jan 2021
How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021