It is not surprising that an authoritarian regime would build powerful databases and snooping equipment and Internet-censoring devices to punish dissent and limit information. But China's system is impressive for the sophistication of its technology, the precision of its reach, and the speed of its creation. More startling, the software and hardware for Golden Shield, Policenet, the Great Firewall, and other tools of this chillingly effective network were largely made in America.
THE UNITED STATES THRIVES ON A SYSTEM OF MARKET FREEDOM that encourages American companies to sell their legal products generally wherever and to whomever they choose. In China, few companies take advantage of market freedom more profitably than Cisco Systems of San Jose, Calif., one of the world's most successful Internet companies, with revenues of $25 billion in 2005. Cisco makes Policenet, as well as the watchdog router that prevents Internet users in China from gaining access to banned websites. Although the company does not specify its sales figures for China, the Chinese telecommunications research firm ChinaNex estimates that Cisco earns $500 million a year in revenues there and holds 60 percent of the Chinese market for routers, switches, and other sophisticated networking gear. The company anticipates that China will soon become its third largest market, just behind the U.S. and Japan.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
From Legal Affairs: