High Tech Policy Guide - Global Policy and Government Affairs (GPGA)

Network Management E-Learning

Cisco technology used for blocking certain Internet sites
Some in media, government and human rights communities have alleged that Cisco has built firewalls specifically for governments so that those governments can block access to Internet sites that they deem need to be blocked (ex: news, religious, etc.)

Cisco Position

Cisco has been and will continue to be a key driver of Internet growth worldwide.
Cisco Systems has not specially designed any products for any government, or any regional market, to block or filter content.
The products that Cisco Systems sells in the U.S., China, India, Pakistan, France, Mexico, etc. are the same products that we sell worldwide.
Our products are sold in compliance with U.S. laws.
Cisco's products address important network management functions, such as:
Preventing unauthorized access to networks.
Helping prevent and mitigate denial of service attacks.
Protecting intellectual property.
Cisco does sell firewall and other network management products with functionality that is widely available from other vendors and performs many important functions for our customers and for the operation of the Internet.
These technologies address important security and network management functions. Specifically, they can perform such actions as:
block viruses from infecting a network;
prevent a hacker from stealing credit card numbers;
protect access to confidential medical information;
help an Internet service provider administer billing and manage their network more efficiently for their customers;
allow a public library to block young children's access to adult websites; and many others.
While there are a range of functions that can be implemented, our customers, not Cisco Systems, determine the specific uses for the identical capabilities of these products.
Any suggestion that Cisco designs products for blocking specific types of content is false.