[ISN] Nortel helps build 'Great Firewall of China'

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Oct 22 2001 - 01:19:35 PDT

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    Forwarded from: J <dharmaat_private>
    Nortel helps build 'Great Firewall of China'
    Montreal Gazette
    Thursday, October 18, 2001
    Nortel Networks is working hand in hand with the Chinese government to
    build "the Great Firewall of China," at least in part to target and
    repress political dissidents using the Internet, a new report
    Former Liberal cabinet minister Warren Allmand, president of the
    International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, will
    release today in Montreal the damning report, titled China's Golden
    Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in
    the People's Republic of China.
    "The Chinese state has found an extraordinary ally in private
    telecommunications firms located primarily in Western countries. Many
    companies, including notably Nortel Networks, until recently Canada's
    largest firm, are playing key roles in meeting the security needs of
    the Chinese government," said the report.
    The centre is releasing the report to coincide with the Asia-Pacific
    Economic Co-operation meeting in Shanghai this weekend, to be attended
    by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and U.S. President George W. Bush.
    International pressure for China to clean up its human-rights act
    appears to have lessened since the Communist country agreed to take
    part in the broad coalition fighting terrorism.
    China has used the war on terrorism to characterize Tibetans as
    "terrorists," something the Canada Tibet Committee calls "an excuse to
    stifle legitimate dissent and peaceful struggles for human rights and
    Tina Warren, a spokesman for Nortel, said the company had yet to
    receive the report and judged it "inappropriate" to comment until it
    is reviewed.
    The 40-page report, written by researcher Greg Walton, said Nortel and
    other firms are helping China build "a more sophisticated system of
    content filtration at the individual level."
    In the report's acknowledgements, Walton credits several online
    activists by their Internet monikers, including the Hacktivismo!
    Project, OxBlood Ruffin, Drunken Master, cDc, y Oda and "so many
    others - on both sides of the firewall - who very sensibly choose to
    remain anonymous."
    The report added, "Old-style censorship is being replaced with a
    massive, ubiquitous architecture of surveillance: the Golden Shield.
    Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an
    all-encompassing surveillance network."
    The network would include speech and face recognition, closed-circuit
    television, smart cards, credit records and Internet surveillance
    China has already arrested numerous people for Internet-related
    crimes, from supplying E-mail addresses to Internet publications to
    circulating pro-democracy articles.
    The report suggests Nortel's privacy statement for the Internet, which
    states it will not sell, rent or share personal data with any other
    organization, appears at odds with its work in China.
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