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 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
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
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)
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