Corporate police state: Cisco edition

by Robin Harris on Tuesday, 7 June, 2011


Cisco, with the aid of pliable government officials – do corporations know any other kind? – had a guy arrested and held in jail for 28 days in Vancouver, BC. He was arrested as he testified at a special hearing for the case!

Cuff ’em, Danno
According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper:

In a rare move, McKinnon stayed extradition proceedings against Peter Adekeye, a British computer entrepreneur who once worked for Cisco Systems, Inc.

The judge said U.S. prosecutors acted outrageously by having the respected executive bizarrely arrested in Vancouver on May 20, 2010 as he testified before a sitting of the American court he was accused of avoiding.

He called Adekeye’s ordeal something out of a novel by Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22.

The RCMP took Adekeye into custody as he was testifying before a special U.S. hearing at the Wedgewood Hotel about the very case that supposedly required his urgent extradition.

Adekeye was perp-walked through the hotel lobby to a waiting police wagon.

“This speaks volumes for Cisco’s duplicity,” the judge said, adding the company had “the unmitigated gall” to try to use the criminal process to humiliate and force Adekeye to abandon a civil suit.

Adekeye was held in custody for 28 days and forced to remain in Canada until this week under strict bail conditions because of the false and misleading material from the U.S., McKinnon said.

Canadian Justice Department lawyer Diba Majzub argued that it didn’t matter U.S. prosecutors falsely portrayed Adekeye as a Nigerian scofflaw who was a flight risk.

“You got a nice little network. Shame if something happened to it.”
Mr. Adekeye’s problems started when he sued Cisco for forcing customers to buy maintenance contracts. Cisco then accused him of 97 counts unauthorized computer access – each punishable by up to 5 years – a total of 485 years – in prison.

2 months after the arrest Cisco settled the case and abandoned the service-contract practice.

Never mind.

The StorageMojo take
Whoa. Assuming the Sun’s account is correct corporate and police powers are getting too cozy in San Jose.

The folks in Cisco’s corporate counsel’s office need a quick refresher in ethics. How about a 28 day stay in the Santa Clara county jail while they study up?

A quick look at Cisco’s recent financials finds that while product sales have been rocky, service sales are up. Good thing, given the plunge in the stock price in the last year.

Cisco has another business practice they should change: their corporate policy of not paying suppliers for 60 days. Cisco toilet cleaners are also privileged to loan Cisco money for 60 days. Is this a great country or what!

Memo to Chambers: it will take years to undo the damage you’ve done to Cisco in the last few years. Take your millions (billions?) and retire now.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Darn activist judges take “liberty and justice for all” too far!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jimmyPx June 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

This is what happens when companies become monopolies. It happened to AT&T, IBM, Microsoft and it now happening to Cisco. They get so big and so arrogant that they believe that they are the only game in town and they can abuse their customers as much as they want because “where are they gonna go”??

What these companies find out though is that customers will tolerate this as long as there is no other viable alternative. As soon as there is, they jump like rats off of a sinking ship. In addition, people HATE the former monopoly like poison and they will never buy any of that company’s products.

JPorter July 15, 2011 at 7:36 am

The shocking issue here isn’t that Cisco tried to defame and threaten a former employee over a pending civil suit, that has sadly become “normal” corporate bad behavior. The shocking thing is that Federal prosecutors are apparently assisting them overtly in railroading that former employee, including bringing the DHS to bear in the process in order to affect the outcome of a civil action currently before the courts. That’s deep into Kafka territory, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen more on this in the technology press.

My company won’t be buying any further Cisco products or services until this case has been more fully resolved, at least not until significantly more information is made public. It will be interesting to see whether any investigation will be done into Cisco’s role in this, as well as the behavior and motivations of the Federal prosecutors involved.

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