Cisco Sought to Paint Whistleblower as 'Sinister'

The storm surrounding Cisco and the 2010 arrest of a company whistleblower is darkening. New reports describing and showing the circumstances of the whistleblower's arrest and extradition proceedings have surfaced and it paints an unflattering portrait of Cisco's prosecutorial team.

Cisco tried to paint former employee Peter Alfred-Adekeye as a "sinister" Nigerian trying to flee 97 charges of computer hacking when they arrested him in Vancouver to extradite him back to the U.S. to face those charges, according to this post in TechEye. At the moment of his arrest, Alfred-Adekeye was delivering his taped deposition in an anti-trust suit his service and support company, Multiven, had against Cisco.

Cisco apparently led the US Department of Homeland Security to believe Alfred-Adekeye was a flight risk based on the hacking charges, and that his extradition from Canada should be hastened - even though the damage of his alleged misdeeds was only $14,000. But when the extradition papers were filed, the Canadian judge went ballistic. As reported, he found the documentation full of "innuendo, half truths, and complete falsehoods."

Canadian authorities at the time did not draw the connection between Multiven's anti-trust testimony and the Cisco hacking suit. But when that connection was made, the sheet hit the fan. Not only did they deny extratradition, the Canadian judge upbraided Cisco and the US authorities for the trumped up charges. He said the way the arrest was conducted spoke "volumes for Cisco's duplicity," according to TechEye.

The judge even flamed the way the arrest was conducted - in the middle of testimony in a case against Cisco, staged for maximum exposure and humility. States TechEye:

Cisco allegedly engineered it so that the arrest took place in the presence of a US High Court Judge, Special Master, George Fisher, with Cisco's lawyers insisting on filming the entire arrest on the record. It was clearly an attempt to humiliate Alfred-Adekeye and weaken his case.

Video and details of the arrest are here in this post from Ars Technica.

Alfred-Adekeye is vindicated -- Cisco dropped its hacking charge and settled with Multiven. But what's got to haunt him, and every citizen, public or private, is how a giant and influential company can potentially steer the course of law. What if Canadian authorities never realized they were being gassed?

As TechEye chillingly puts it:

What should be alarming is not that Cisco allegedly played hard against him, but that it was able to use extradition laws and its chums in the US government to lock up those who dared to challenge it.

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