July 21, 2011, 4:27 PM — On May 20, 2010, serial entrepreneur and disgruntled Cisco solutions provider Peter Alfred-Adekeye – elegantly dressed and in command of both himself and the lawsuit he'd lodged against Cisco for what he called anti-competitive practices – walked into a posh Vancouver hotel conference room for a deposition.
Without Alfred-Adekeye knowledge, Cisco had responded to his lawsuit by charging him with criminal computer trespass, data theft and fraud for what it told the RCMP was a flat-out hack of its systems by Alfred-Adekey, who allegedly downloaded valuable, proprietary software, instruction guides and other material Cisco made available to customers, but not to third-party service companies such as Alfred-Adekeye's.
A video of the deposition shows Alfred-Adekeye, dressed like a man taking a valued client to lunch and seated at a table ready to do business, being arrested and, eventually, off-camera, perp-walked through the lobby of the hotel and into what would be more than a year of legal fights and nervous waiting as Canadian courts and the U.S. Justice Department argued whether Alfred-Adekeye should be returned to the U.S. to be tried for hacking Cisco.
DoJ charged that Alfred-Adekeye, in the process of working on a client's network, used a Cisco employee's user ID and passwords to access content and download software on restricted Cisco websites.
That refusal was the point of the suit; by refusing to give many third-party service companies the software updates, bug fixes, instructional material and other resources, it was preventing anyone but Cisco from competing for the lucrative market for servicing Cisco gear and networks.
The Nigerian-born Alfred-Adekeye, who lives in Zurich, has been in Canada ever since, forbidden to leave the country until Canadian courts come to a decision about whether or not to approve requests from the U.S. Justice Department to extradite him to the U.S.
Alfred-Adekeye's No. 2 at his VAR, Multiven, said the arrest and attempted prosecution were attempts to intimidate Multiven into dropping its suit against the networking giant.