IBM shareholder drops NSA lawsuit over China biz loss

Summary:Following "extensive additional investigation", Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund says it has dropped its lawsuit alleging IBM's links with the U.S. government's cyberspying program resulted in loss of business in China.

An IBM shareholder has decided to drop a lawsuit filed against the company alleging its cooperation with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in a cyberspying scheme had resulted in a loss of business in China.

The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund had alleged the loss of Chinese business caused IBM's market value  to dip by nearly US$13 billion, and sued Big Blue for failing to reveal its involvement in NSA cyberspying program.

Its decision to end the lawsuit followed an "extensive additional investigation into the matters alleged, which included investigations conducted in the U.S. and China", according to a Reuters report, citing a letter published by John Browne, a lawyer for lead plaintiff Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund in Baton Rouge. Additional information was also obtained from discussions with the defense counsel, Browne said. 

No details were provided on what the investigation revealed.

In a statement, IBM spokesperson Douglas Shelton said: "We said the complaint proceeded to make numerous specious and false accusations, and IBM called upon the law firm that filed this action to do the right thing and dismiss it. We are pleased that they have done the right thing."

The tech vendor in October reported a 22 percent revenue decline in China , leading to a 4 percent drop of its third-quarter profit, and its shares dipped 6.4 percent.

In its lawsuit, Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund said IBM lobbied the U.S. Congress to pass a law letting the company to reveal personal data of its customers in China to the NSA, in order to protect its intellectual property rights. Following revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the lawsuit further alleged IBM hid the fact that the cyberspying expose had caused the Chinese government and businesses to end their association with Big Blue. 

 

Topics: Security, China, IBM, Legal

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 15 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Eileen majored i... Full Bio

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