Photo: Dan Farber
The story of tech entrepreneur Peter Adekeye is chilling.As an Ars Technica feature recounts, Adekeye’s company was competing with Cisco and sued them; in response, Cisco had Adekeye arrested in Canada for overinflated charges of computer hacking, an arrest which derailed his life for a year.
Here’s how the story goes, per Ars Technica:
- Adekeye was an executive in good standing at many tech companies, lastly Cisco, until he struck out on his own and started companies in Silicon Valley;
- His latest company, Multiven, provided maintenance services for Cisco devices;
- Multiven sued Cisco for antitrust violations, alleging that Cisco pressured customers to buy maintenance services from Cisco alongside its devices, shutting Multiven out of the market;
- At some point, Adekeye accessed Cisco’s secure internal network several times with an employee’s credentials, with that employee’s permission, to gather information;
- Cisco used that fact to have Adekeye arrested while he was being deposed in his lawsuit in Vancouver (a British citizen, Adekeye wasn’t allowed to come to the US for a deposition) for computer hacking and asked for an extradition, claiming that he was, in essence, a dangerous criminal who might flee;
- This derailed Adekeye’s life for a year of proceedings before all the charges were dropped; meanwhile Cisco settled the suit with Multiven and stopped the practices that Multiven was suing against.
The Canadian judge who exculpated Adekeye wrote a fuming opinion saying that Cisco had misled both US and Canadian authorities in painting Adekeye as a dangerous criminal and a flight risk and asking for his arrest and extradition.
What’s more, arresting someone during a deposition goes against 500 years of common law tradition. During the deposition, Cisco’s lawyers insisted on having the arrest filmed on the record, which is also highly irregular.
While it’s obvious that Adekeye shouldn’t have accessed Cisco’s network, the Canadian judge wrote that it was not a crime but a civil tort (which Cisco eventually settled).
Here’s the video of Adekeye’s arrest, which is pretty scary:
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