Cisco chief urges Obama to curb NSA surveillance activity

NEW YORK Mon May 19, 2014 8:35am IST

John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014.   REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Files

John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ruben Sprich/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc's chief executive officer has written a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to curtail government surveillance after evidence circulated showing the National Security Agency had intercepted Cisco equipment, a company spokesman said on Sunday.

In a letter dated May 15, John Chambers, chief executive officer and chairman of the networking equipment giant, warned of an erosion of confidence in the U.S. technology industry and called for new "standards of conduct" in how the NSA conducts its surveillance.

"We simply cannot operate this way, our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security," Chambers said in the letter.

The letter follows the circulation of pictures on the Internet showing NSA staff opening boxes of Cisco gear, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. "There have been allegations that the NSA has intercepted IT equipment in transit from manufacturers to customers to help monitor and gain information on surveillance targets," the paper wrote.

The allegations stem from early reporting from Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has written about a number of NSA documents that were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

In the letter, Chambers states that "if these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally."

In a separate blog post on Cisco's site dated May 13, the company's general counsel, Mark Chandler, wrote that "...we ought to be able to count on the government to ... not interfere with the lawful delivery of our products in the form in which we have manufactured them."

(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

TECH WRAP

Reuters Showcase

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

India’s Male Tenor

India’s Male Tenor

India’s lone male tenor wants to ‘Indianise’ opera  Full Article 

Facebook Outage

Facebook Outage

Hacker group claims it is behind outages at Facebook, other sites  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

`Life-threatening' blizzard shuts down much of U.S. Northeast  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Berdych ends Nadal tyranny on day of shocks  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

Photo

Auschwitz Anniversary

Last survivors recall Auschwitz, ask if lessons learned  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage