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More trouble for Uber, as ex-employee claims firm engaged in spying, hacking, & bribery

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A 37-page letter written by a former employee of Uber has been published, and it includes claims that the company regularly conducted corporate espionage, illicit hacking, unlawful surveillance, and even bribery.

The letter was penned by Richard Jacobs, who served on Uber’s security team, and was originally sent to the company’s management in May of this year.

Dubbed the “Jacobs letter,” it’s this evidence that the Department of Justice gave to the judge overseeing the Waymo lawsuit, which in turn accused Uber of failing to disclose the document and delayed the trial until next year.

While small parts of the Jacobs letter have previously been read aloud in court, the complete document has been made public in a redacted form.

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The letter is made up of numerous detailed accounts of Uber’s illegal practices. The company’s Strategic Services Group (SSG) was responsible for not only hacking competitors in order to steal secrets and get a leg up, but used spies to monitor political figures and wiretapped regulators, bribed foreign officials, and used burner phones self-destructing messages in order to hide records of their activities in the event of a lawsuit.

Jacobs also said that Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick knew about many of these practices, in addition to receiving much of the information that was collected as a result.

 

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