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June 7, 2011 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Is American law enforcement colluding with Cisco? A quick lesson on how to abuse the law and quiet whistleblowers.
posted by blue_beetle (63 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is sickening.

Just today, I was arguing with someone that concentrations of wealth could potentially become indistinguishable from political power. My interlocutor's counterargument was as follows: 1) Barack Obama (once a poor black man) became President, and therefore 2) it is ludicrous to imagine that there could be any reason to consider addressing concentrations of wealth.

It was a short conversation, mostly because I don't have time or training to confront that level of self-deception.
posted by gauche at 12:15 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


At this point, if there is a way for law enforcement to trample the 4th Amendment, just assume they're doing it. It's not really even a question anymore.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:16 PM on June 7, 2011 [17 favorites]


So what, was Microsoft just chopped liver to US anti-trust prosecutors?
posted by Slackermagee at 12:17 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


But why would U.S. law enforcement officials do this? I mean, Cisco is big, but isn't all that large compared to the size of the economy. Is this systemic, something any sufficently large corporation could effectively sign up for, or was a special case made for Cisco?

I get the sense there's some aspect of this case we're in the dark about. I'm waiting for the random knowledgable Metafilter user to come in and cast light on the situation.

gauche: What a clueless friend.
posted by JHarris at 12:18 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


_NSAKEY
posted by CautionToTheWind at 12:19 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


At this point, if there is a way for law enforcement to trample the 4th Amendment, just assume they're doing it. It's not really even a question anymore.

Yeah...I didn't really expect it to get Sci-Fi bad. Pretty soon they'll all dress in black with masks on and refer to ZomCorps Execs as "Sir".

Gross. Fix yourself, or prepared to be called "oinks".
posted by hal_c_on at 12:22 PM on June 7, 2011


These articles are extremely short of facts. Reading between the lines, the hacking charges must be for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This statute has definitely been increasingly used by corporations in an unjustified way to come after whistleblowers and other forms of protected speech. However, if this guy really did log into Cisco's systems after he was no longer an employee, using a current employee's password, then he may have legitimately violated the law.

Also, the articles are extremely short of facts about how the US prosecutors colluded with Cisco on the prosecution.
posted by yarly at 12:23 PM on June 7, 2011


It pays to be friends with Cisco and telcos and Internet Service Providers if you want to just hand a Post-It saying, "Hey, yeah, just pipe me all this data on these nice American folks here ... hold the warrant" to the geek in cubicle farm #92 subsection A floor 12 row 5 Davidson. No shocks at all. It's the government's way of saying "Thanks for all your help during the Bush era" to the telcos. "We appreciate you. We even pardoned all of this stuff those pinko civil rights people were whining about. Let's keep a good working relationship."
posted by adipocere at 12:24 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think this really, really needs to be backed up with copies of official filings. Sirota seems to be entirely reliant on the Vancouver Sun story, but that's such a poorly written piece of tabloid trash that I don't see how anyone could possibly rely on it as a source. Whoever wrote it thinks sentences and paragraphs are the same thing and doesn't even have a good grasp of English; I'm not very confident about the accuracy of the reported remarks.

The story as reported is also hard to take seriously from a legal standpoint; for example, Adekeye is supposedly forbidden from re-entering the US to testify against Cisco, but there is actually a mechanism in US immigration law to parole someone temporarily into the country specifically for the purposes of participating in litigation. Adekeye is supposedly suing Cisco as a whistleblower...what? On behalf of other people? That doesn't make sense. While the US may well have issued an extradition warrant for him, how is it the fault of American law enforcement that the RCMP, aka the Mounties, arrested the guy during or immediately after a court hearing in Vancouver? That sounds like bad behavior on the part of Canadian law enforcement officers, rather than American.

If the allegations are true then this would be interesting, but it's desperately in need of better quality source material.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:24 PM on June 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


But why would U.S. law enforcement officials do this?

Oh, that's easy: 90% of networks use Cisco equipment. If you haven't read the news lately, cybercrime is rampant (with extra helpings of FUD mixed in). Law enforcement has lots of reasons to have Cisco on their side when it comes to their investigations. They only have a difficult to prosecute anti-trust case coming from the whistleblower.

Step 2 of the process is that we Uhmericans love to have prosecutors who win, the whole "right and wrong" issue gets tossed out the window in the name of winning cases. Rub a few palms along the way and you get this sort of thing happening.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:26 PM on June 7, 2011


Law enforcement and prosecution is all about the us vs. them paradigm, with zero tolerance for nuance. You can be certain that Cisco's lawyers contacted the U.S. attorney's office and fed them a line of bullshit. Cisco, not being one of "them" at the moment, was presumed to be one of "us" by the U.S. attorneys office. Whether they knowingly colluded or were just Cisco's patsies is not known. I doubt DOJ's policy is about collusion with industry in support of civil disputes, but is more about the much ballyhooed War on Intellectual Property.

The Canadians fell for the same line of "reasoning". The USDOJ, not being one of "them", was presumed to be one of "us", and the Canadians happily marched Mr. Adekeye off to jail.

The real shocker isn't that this happened; it's that any of it came to light. Kudos to the Canadians, who are fully entitled to be pissed off.
posted by Xoebe at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adekeye is supposedly suing Cisco as a whistleblower...what? On behalf of other people?

I think by "whistleblower" here, they mean a civil plaintiff in a Sherman Act antitrust case, which in some ways is like a whistleblower.
posted by yarly at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2011


However, if this guy really did log into Cisco's systems after he was no longer an employee, using a current employee's password, then he may have legitimately violated the law.

Perhaps. However, breaking into, and yanking the guy out of, a legal proceeding and perp-walking him out in front of judges and attorneys is simply not done, and wholly unnecessary. It's theater. This act alone makes one question about the involvement of Cisco and who was really pulling the legal strings.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is scary. When we had to deal with the Soviet installed regime over here, we at least had one fairly well defined enemy. If this scenario becomes norm, you'll never know when you might step on the toes of someone who's above the law.
I'm not coming to see the Grand Canyon in the foreseeable future. :(
posted by hat_eater at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2011


However, breaking into, and yanking the guy out of, a legal proceeding and perp-walking him out in front of judges and attorneys is simply not done, and wholly unnecessary. It's theater.

Yes, that part is strange. It doesn't add up.
posted by yarly at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2011


But why would U.S. law enforcement officials do this? I mean, Cisco is big, but isn't all that large compared to the size of the economy. Is this systemic, something any sufficently large corporation could effectively sign up for, or was a special case made for Cisco?

I get the sense there's some aspect of this case we're in the dark about. I'm waiting for the random knowledgable Metafilter user to come in and cast light on the situation.


Because Cisco has done everything The NSA has asked it to do regardless of the law, and this is returning the favor.
posted by jamjam at 12:31 PM on June 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


However, breaking into, and yanking the guy out of, a legal proceeding and perp-walking him out in front of judges and attorneys is simply not done, and wholly unnecessary. It's theater.

Yes, that part is strange. It doesn't add up.


I dunno, it would seem that direct police action + judges and attorneys present + assumed white collar crime perception = someone calling it in for Cisco's benefit.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:34 PM on June 7, 2011


It's the government's way of saying "Thanks for all your help during the Bush era" to the telcos.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR):

And I believe that the American people would be absolutely stunned... if they knew how the Patriot Act was being interpreted and applied in practice.
posted by Trurl at 12:34 PM on June 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


However, breaking into, and yanking the guy out of, a legal proceeding and perp-walking him out in front of judges and attorneys is simply not done, and wholly unnecessary. It's theater.

Yes, that part is strange. It doesn't add up.


If the US DOJ convinced the Canadian authorities that he was a con man and a severe flight risk I could see the RCMP officers believing that they had to get him into custody ASAP.

Alternatively, there might have been a hockey game that night and the officers were worried they'd miss the face off if they waited for the deposition to finish.
posted by papercrane at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2011


"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information! " - Cosmo from Sneakers (1992)

Wow... the further we go forward, the more I am drawn to thinking that the movie villians of the past may actually have been our heroes...

Oh and... free Julian.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2011


Meanwhile, yesterday three Chinese dissidents filed a lawsuit against Cisco in the United States District Court in Maryland for knowingly aiding and abetting the Chinese government’s internet crackdown:
The plaintiffs are prolific writers who promote democratic reform and increased freedoms for the Chinese people through articles published on the internet. It was through network surveillance technology provided by Cisco that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security was able to track the Plaintiffs down for exercising their right to free speech. This led to their harassment, arbitrary detention and arrest, and physical, mental, and emotional torture and abuse. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages for injuries and are requesting that the defendants be held accountable for their actions.
posted by finite at 12:45 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


My guess here is that the whistleblower case against Cisco would have had a high likelihood of airing some of the dirty sheets shared by Cisco and the US government.

As with so many of the really shady things happening, you don't need a conspiracy between two groups whose interests are aligned anyways.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:49 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Cisco should change their company motto to that of the low-end fortified wine of the same name.

Cisco: It takes you by surprise.
posted by hellojed at 12:52 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


General background
More detailed coverage
Legal analysis
Selected legal filings

Peter Alfred-Adekeye CEO bio
Multiven Corporate Blog

Haven't seen any of the extradition documents or the court's opinion on those yet - it certainly seems as if they're fundamentally flawed if the news reports are accurate.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:53 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a criminal defense attorney, and I've done a few federal computer-fraud cases in the Northern District of California. In each case, it was abundantly clear that the US Atty's office was simply doing the bidding of a Silicon Valley firm.

It's kind of an open secret in the criminal law community here. People just take it for granted that the big tech companies get to use federal prosecutors as their own private guard dogs.
posted by mikeand1 at 12:57 PM on June 7, 2011 [15 favorites]


At first glance I read the first link as Crisco. The truth is much worse. Except for a small group of people who are no doubt saddened.
posted by Splunge at 1:15 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting to see what Eric Holder has to say about this.

If, as likely, Holder doesn't say anything, I don't know I have much reason to vote to re-elect the guy who appointed Holder Attorney General.
posted by orthogonality at 1:17 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


People just take it for granted that the big tech companies get to use federal prosecutors as their own private guard dogs. [*]

Is it wrong that my response to this is to wonder how I can get federal prosecutors to do my bidding as well? I mean, I don't think I have any reason to hope that they'll stop working for big tech, but maybe I can get them to work for me, too.
posted by spacewrench at 1:21 PM on June 7, 2011


Is it wrong that my response to this is to wonder how I can get federal prosecutors to do my bidding as well? I mean, I don't think I have any reason to hope that they'll stop working for big tech, but maybe I can get them to work for me, too.

Sure you can. For the right price.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:24 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, I don't think I have any reason to hope that they'll stop working for big tech, but maybe I can get them to work for me, too.

You're going to need a really big bank balance, then, because it's all about throwing around bucket loads of campaign money.

Or on preview, what T.D. Strange said.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:25 PM on June 7, 2011


I'm waiting to see what Eric Holder has to say about this.

Has he said anything about the DOJ putting Bank of America in contact with that anti-Wikileaks hit team?
posted by Trurl at 1:37 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I agree that the sources are incomplete, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were basically all true. All the router companies have very close relationships with the authorities in all countries, because the router is the best place to put your "wire"taps, to do censorship, or that sort of thing.

These companies have shown no hesitation in collaborating with the most brutal dictatorships to help repress their citizens, Cisco being a leader here.

That the authorities would return the favor is unsurprtisinmg, and given the Bush-Obama principle that the security forces are not subject to the law, there's zero downside to using their powers to destroy innocent people.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:40 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


If, as likely, Holder doesn't say anything, I don't know I have much reason to vote to re-elect the guy who appointed Holder Attorney General.

Two words...President Palin.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on June 7, 2011


given the Bush-Obama principle that the security forces are not subject to the law

The Security Apparatus is the sword and shield of the State.
posted by orthogonality at 1:48 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two words...President Palin.

Ah. The all-purpose threat to keep us in line with whatever the Democratic party wants.
posted by tyllwin at 1:49 PM on June 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ah. The all-purpose threat to keep us in line with whatever the Democratic party wants.

Hey, I didn't say I endorsed the threat. But, seriously? It sure as hell scares the piss out of me.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:52 PM on June 7, 2011


Two words...President Palin.

I'm reaching the point where I'm wondering if we'd not be better off with a complete dumbfuck instead of an effective-enough apologist for Statist Corpocracy.

If we're going to get the same overall policies, better to have them fronted by the obviously inane Palin than sold to us by the often convincing, reasonable-seeming Obama.
posted by orthogonality at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


It sure as hell scares the piss out of me.

Tom Tomorrow suggests you should be.
posted by Trurl at 2:02 PM on June 7, 2011


So the Vancouver Sun link says that the criminal charges stem from this: "Adekeye was accused in a civil countersuit of using a former colleague's computer code to illicitly access Cisco services worth 'more than $14,000.'" The article also says that "At the time of his arrest, Adekeye was suing Cisco for forcing customers to buy a maintenance contract to cover future software-bug fixes, patches and updates for its operating system and applications." This is all a little vague, but here's my interpretation of what I'm seeing here:

Reading between the lines a little, my rough guess is that Adekeye used a buddy's Cisco.com login to download some patches for Cisco gear that he owned without a super-expensive service contract. He was suing or later sued Cisco for their pricing practices and for forcing customers to buy these service contracts to get patches and updates (I have no idea whether this claim has any merit, but that's not the point here). Cisco investigated him in the course of preparing their defense and discovered that he allegedly pirated this software.

As a result, and presumably seeking to derail the case, Cisco filed a civil counter-claim against Adekeye. In 2008, Adekeye left the US, and wasn't allowed back in to answer the allegations against him. According to the Sun, he tried for months to re-enter the US, including writing a letter to Obama. As a result, the US District Court took the rather extraordinary step of holding a special hearing in Vancouver, so that Adekeye could fly there and testify. When he appeared at that hearing, he was taken into custody by the RCMP in service of an extradition request for 97 criminal counts of unauthorized computer access as a result of the same downloads from Cisco's website.

Two months later, Cisco settled the lawsuit, changed its practices of requiring service contracts for various services, and dropped its allegations against Adekeye.

A Canadian judge said that it was outrageous for the US Government to have him arrested when he showed up at his own hearing, and that "it was a perversion of justice to allow the criminal law to be used to resolve a trivial civil suit and it shouldn't be countenanced."

So to summarize: man sues Cisco, Cisco countersues him for downloading software without paying, Cisco arranges for criminal hacking charges to be brought against him for downloading software without paying, man shows up to testify in civil case, man gets arrested in criminal case, Canadian judge calls it all outrageous. I'm a little vague on exactly what the criminal charges consisted of, but that's my best guess of the situation here.
posted by zachlipton at 2:05 PM on June 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


"Has he said anything about the DOJ putting Bank of America in contact with that anti-Wikileaks hit team?"
posted by Trurl at 9:37 PM on June 7

Jesus H Christ. As it says at the link "The corruption here runs so deep, on so many levels, it's almost impossible to comprehend." Conspiracy theory? This is way ahead.
posted by marienbad at 2:07 PM on June 7, 2011


Two words...President Palin.

Palin is not going to win, no matter what. Some other douche is likely who will be no better than Obama but also likely not much worse. Romney maybe? He fits the "serious enough" bill for Washington pretty well.

When people are no longer afraid and just angry then things may change. We have to lose a lot before that happens.
posted by dibblda at 2:07 PM on June 7, 2011


Thorzdad: "If, as likely, Holder doesn't say anything, I don't know I have much reason to vote to re-elect the guy who appointed Holder Attorney General.

Two words...President Palin.
"

Three words:

Bite your fingers.
posted by Splunge at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2011


Romney wants to "double Guantanamo". (Or at least postures that he does.)

And, unlike Palin, he's actually wants the job.

So I'd worry more about him.
posted by Trurl at 2:23 PM on June 7, 2011


I'm reaching the point where I'm wondering if we'd not be better off with a complete dumbfuck instead of an effective-enough apologist for Statist Corpocracy.

Were you asleep between 2001 and 2008?
posted by aspo at 2:25 PM on June 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Romney wants to "double Guantanamo". (Or at least postures that he does.)

Whereas Obama is content with expanding Bagram.
posted by homunculus at 2:44 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


So why isn't the Canadian embassy asking Hillary to stop by and do some 'splainin? This sounds like one of those "international incidents."
posted by tommyD at 2:49 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


> If we're going to get the same overall policies, better to have them fronted by the obviously inane Palin than sold to us by the often convincing, reasonable-seeming Obama.

I understand the sentiment, but in my view, competent, cynical damage-control is still profoundly preferable to incompetent, irrational damage-exacerbation.

The interesting thing about Obama is that, whereas Hope was his campaign mantra, for better and for worse, it's definitely not his governing creed. The guy really does pursue realism as both a means and an end, and there's not that much confusing at all about what he's doing if you distill his things down to a few precepts:

1) A culture can accommodate only a limited amount of Change in a given period of time.
2) Keeping the culture operating and getting a few small changes up and running is ultimately more effective than introducing the hypothetical benefits of a Perfect Mousetrap.
3) A soft landing for the US, relative to China's rise, is pretty much all that's possible; the institutional barriers to radical changes in direction regarding energy policy, defense spending, security policy, drug policy, and corporate/governmental intermingling are so high and so mutually reinforcing as to be insurmountable within the years 2008-2012, so pushing for them would lead to a counterproductive and ultimately destructive backlash.
4) To a large proportion of the voting public, he is suspect; a large security lapse would be the end of his presidency.
5) The country is polarized; the Left and Right will variously vote for him and vote against him, no matter what he does. All that matters is the "independent" (i.e., soft-quasi-former Republican voters plus low-information voters) vote, and what they want is a general sense of safety and continuity.

Which he will do his best to provide.

Domestic JFK-lite + International GHW Bush-lite= Electoral Eisenhower.

And though there are many instances (you know the litany: Drug War, Surveillance State, etc., etc.) in which I ardently disagree with his course, strategically, he seems to have things pegged.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:02 PM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Obama's continuing war against whistleblowers.
posted by fuq at 3:23 PM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


the institutional barriers to radical changes in direction regarding energy policy, defense spending, security policy, drug policy, and corporate/governmental intermingling are so high and so mutually reinforcing as to be insurmountable within the years 2008-2012

No one with any interest in surmounting them will be allowed anywhere near the Presidency. Not in 2012, not in 2016, nor in any election year to come.

And there is no actual "policy" in any of these areas. Only the enrichment of whichever business interest has been most successful at bribing lobbying Congress.

posted by Trurl at 3:52 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was arguing with someone that concentrations of wealth could potentially become indistinguishable from political power.

"could potentially become"? We were you having this argument around 200,000 BC?
posted by DU at 4:27 PM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Were you asleep between 2001 and 2008?

Have you been asleep since then?
posted by DU at 4:29 PM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


So Obama is as bad as Bush? Just checking. I need my opinion swayed by reasoned dialog here.
posted by Splunge at 4:49 PM on June 7, 2011


I get the sense there's some aspect of this case we're in the dark about. I'm waiting for the random knowledgable Metafilter user to come in and cast light on the situation.

I see that you went in deeper, but I'm still missing something. Like what it was that the US Atty said to Canada that was wrong. Far as I can tell, this is just a pissed off judge.
posted by gjc at 5:05 PM on June 7, 2011


Obama's continuing war against whistleblowers.

What whistleblowing, though? The guy filed a suit against his former employer complaining that Cisco was making it hard for him to compete with their after-sales service by asking their customers to sign maintenance contracts. He didn't attempt to file it as a class action or anything like that, as far as I can tell, and while Cisco is the market leader it's far from being the only large firm to make networking hardware. This doesn't sound like whistleblowing to me, just straightforward litigation.

In a sudden, sharp escalation of NATO’s air campaign over Libya [...]

How many more irrelevant derails does this thread need? Out of ~30 comments so far, only 5 or 6 seem to have anything to do with the FPP. This is just silly.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:22 PM on June 7, 2011


So Obama is as bad as Bush? Just checking. I need my opinion swayed by reasoned dialog here.

Name 3 major Bush policies that Obama hasn't kept going.
posted by DU at 5:46 PM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


So Obama is as bad as Bush?

No. But Obama is a centrist, and a corporatist. His policies should perhaps be the practical compromise that that liberals/progressives reluctantly make with the right. They should not be the left's first proposals and the left should not be his slavish fans.
posted by tyllwin at 5:57 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


DU: "So Obama is as bad as Bush? Just checking. I need my opinion swayed by reasoned dialog here.

Name 3 major Bush policies that Obama hasn't kept going.
"

One article pretty much sums it up.

A lot of the other non-starters are due to Obama wanting to placate the Republican side and get the government working as a whole, not as a Left vs. Right.

He had high hopes but backed down in ways that I personally was not happy about.

I was mainly talking about them as Presidents. Personally. I believe that Obama, for all of his faults, is a much better President. And I'm not a fanboy, by any means.
posted by Splunge at 6:08 PM on June 7, 2011


We're talking about government collusion with corporate interests, yes? Why do you think we are currently waging war on Libya?

I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with Cisco or Multiven, nor have I seen anything so far to suggest it has the slightest connection with national security issues.

A defendant in a civil litigation case (like Cisco) countersuing a plaintiff is completely unremarkable. Contrary to what Sirota is suggesting in the first FPP link, it is in fact the normal way of doing things once a dispute goes to court. If the guy accessed Cisco's internal networks without permission after leaving their employment, that would actually a crime and it's pretty normal that to attempt to arrest the person and put them on trial to see if it occurred.

I'm not disputing Mikeand1's observation that companies in Silicon Valley are in the habit of filing criminal complaints about such things, but on the other hand Silicon Valley is the sort of place where you would expect companies to complain about computer crime, because that's where a lot of computer companies have their HQ. The main problem I see here is an over-enthusiastic reaction by the RCMP in serving an extradition warrant. It would help a lot if there were some other source for the Judge's decision and remarks besides the this extremely tabloidy report in the Vancouver Sun. I have supplied some extra links above that seem relevant to the case. Maybe you could help with that instead of just bringing in random unrelated topics.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:30 PM on June 7, 2011


nor have I seen anything so far to suggest it has the slightest connection with national security issues

...to suggest that this case has the slightest connection...

posted by anigbrowl at 6:32 PM on June 7, 2011


Yet another example of a justice system lousy with fools, the corrupt and the incompetent.

This man is incredibly lucky he did not get across the border, otherwise he'd be serving his 500 years in a US prison, instead of on his way to Switzerland.
posted by smithsmith at 9:12 PM on June 7, 2011


Reading between the lines a little, my rough guess is that Adekeye used a buddy's Cisco.com login to download some patches for Cisco gear that he owned without a super-expensive service contract. He was suing or later sued Cisco for their pricing practices and for forcing customers to buy these service contracts to get patches and updates (I have no idea whether this claim has any merit, but that's not the point here). Cisco investigated him in the course of preparing their defense and discovered that he allegedly pirated this software.

No, this is a complete fantasy. According to the court decision, Adekeye admitted that he used a current employee's password to snoop for info relevant to his antitrust case on Cisco's systems. Adekeye used his access to see whether Cisco salespeople (in addition to tech people) had access to bug fixes. The heart of his antitrust case against Cisco was that Cisco salespeople were unlawfully bundling bug fixes with its other services. This was not a case of something harmless or unrelated that later got distorted into a retaliatory claim against him.

The Computer Fraud & Abuse Act is definitely being used to stymie whistleblowers and corporate critics, but I just don't think this is a case of that.
posted by yarly at 7:55 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to the court decision, Adekeye admitted that he used a current employee's password to snoop for info relevant to his antitrust case on Cisco's systems. Adekeye used his access to see whether Cisco salespeople (in addition to tech people) had access to bug fixes. The heart of his antitrust case against Cisco was that Cisco salespeople were unlawfully bundling bug fixes with its other services. This was not a case of something harmless or unrelated that later got distorted into a retaliatory claim against him.

Yikes. It would have been nice if the Vancouver Sun article actually discussed this, but maybe asking for basic journalism is too much... Thanks for filling in this gap.
posted by zachlipton at 8:39 AM on June 8, 2011


In other Cisco news: Cisco's Tech Just One Of Many New Ways China Could Spy On Its People
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on July 5, 2011


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