Ex-Uber Employee Claims Secretive Unit Performed Unlawful Acts Including Hacking and Surveillance of Competitors

On Friday, a 37-page letter written by the attorney of a former Uber security employee was made public. The past employee is Richard Jacobs, who was a manager of global intelligence for the company.

The letter alleges the following of the ride-sharing companies employees and contractors engages in the following practices:

  • Participated in illegal surveillance of foreign officials and opponent company executives including illegally recording phone calls
  • Accessed personal information of 35,000 drivers of competing ride-sharing companies to recruit more employees
  • Impersonated protesters in order to undermine protests being held against the company
  • Hacked into rivals computer systems in order to steal trade secrets

Jacobs states:

“Uber has engaged, and continues to engage, in illegal intelligence gathering on a global scale,”

and in his letter writes:

“These tactics were employed clandestinely through a distributed architecture of anonymous servers, telecommunications architecture, and non-attributable hardware and software. This setup allows the MA team to make millions of data calls against competitor and government servers without causing a signature that would alert competitors to the theft.”

An Uber spokesman did comment in response to the incidents and had this to say: (Waymo is Uber’s driverless-car division that is currently involved in a lawsuit against Uber over stolen documents related to an acquisition of a driverless truck start-up)

“While we haven’t substantiated all the claims in this letter—and, importantly, any related to Waymo—our new leadership has made clear that going forward we will compete honestly and fairly, on the strength of our ideas and technology.”

This information has come to light as Uber is already dealing with 5 different federal investigations into their practices. One of these investigations involves foreign bribery and another was in reference to software used to avoid authorities.







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