Cisco to Obama: get NSA out of our hardware

After allegations that the NSA routinely intercepted Cisco hardware to insert bugging equipment, Cisco CEO John Chambers has written to US President Barack Obama to demand action

Cisco CEO John Chambers has called on US President Barack Obama to rein in the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) after revelations that the agency routinely tapped Cisco network hardware while it was in transit to countries outside the US, before inserting it back into the supply chain.

The NSA’s activities were widely reported last week after publication of investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald’s book on the Edward Snowden affair, No Place To Hide.

In an excerpt from the book, published by The Guardian, Greenwald alleged sight of a report claiming that, as far back as 2010, the NSA “routinely” received or intercepted networking devices such as routers and servers and inserted various surveillance tools into them before repackaging them and sending them on to their final destination, where they would eventually connect to the NSA.

These actions appear to have come in response to concerns – so far unsubstantiated – that equipment exported by firms such as Huawei was acting as a means for Chinese intelligence gathering.

In the letter, Chambers told the White House that the allegations would “undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally”.

Chambers said confidence in the open, global internet would be eroded by such invasions of privacy and exploitation of security vulnerabilities, and warned that the scandal could even lead to the fragmentation of the internet.

“Our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorstep products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security,” wrote Chambers. “That is why we need new standards of conduct … to ensure that appropriate safeguards and limits exist that serve national security objectives, while at the same time meet the needs of global commerce.”

Chambers called for Obama to take further steps and a leadership role to push for guidelines and reforms, and said the technology industry was ready to work with the US and other governments to achieve this.

“Trust with our customers is paramount, and we do everything we can to earn that trust every day,” said Chambers.

Cisco has already seen some impact from the Snowden affair in its financial statements. Last November, the firm reported double-digit revenue declines in a number of emerging markets and said the NSA’s activities had definitely affected business in China.

A number of other firms, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL, have previously called for more transparency and reform.

CW+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of CW+ membership, learn more and join.

Read more on Network security strategy

Join the conversation

4 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

For big companies and holding one of IT products,please dont embaressed the presidency lodges,for any sping issues and never supplied the intelegencies all over the world of product used to watching others bedsecrets ,like what it happened with merical,ingelia the germany consulate.who is the one who pear the load of that scandle,obama himself was ingarged of it?? while CIA,NSA and others is not full responsible,hold it by president neck which we alwayes try to push any bad reputation of such an important position,beside supply your product a eternity dna to watch it every minutes to ensure not used in future in spy issues beside dont think any act of manufacturing process and, though or theme apeared or put it in future use is rejusterd in our mega machinery of supervision and evaluation of the behaviour the persons and nations and creations even a small atomic sudden movement in earth and all the universe built by god in life and after,a self loyalety of matters programmed to healthy future insureance,started in silicon vally factories as a start to built a great USA standarization code of perfect and durable industry of IT mega and omega

Cancel

Mahdi? I think you need to take your meds before you post; I have NO idea what you were trying to say!

Cancel

He is communicating a secret message to the mothership?

Cancel

Alex,you are still sleeping a new universes order is already started, after snowden fuck the mothership,and let the new world order decleared his ignortion and vanitioning?? with all his old architects and builders,we are talking in age of everything theory,please read it if you could understand one article of the final theory of nano techniqes.

Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close