San Francisco – Uber used ex-CIA agents to steal trade secrets, fired manager says.
Former Uber security manager said Uber spy teams are using the former CIA agent to help the company reconnaissance overseas rivals. Federal prosecutors are investigating the case.
In criminal investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice, Uber's former Global Intelligence Manager focuses on information contained in a letter on page 37 sent to a corporate attorney in May. This survey was not publicly known until Tuesday when it emerged at a court hearing that was supposed to set the stage for Uber's trials against Waymo. Waymo is a pioneer of self-driving cars started on Google eight years ago and is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company.
The hearing quickly turned into a forum raising more questions about Uber's ethics and deeds. Last year, Uber had extensive sexual harassment within the company, technical skill designed to threaten regulators, and a hacking strike that stolen 57 million passengers and personal information of 600 thousand drivers.
Richard Jacobs is a former Uber manager. His lawyer wrote a letter to the center of the courtroom drama. He testified that Uber established a secret organization to steal trade secrets from overseas rival companies. Under interrogation, he said it hired former CIA agents to invade rivals' computers.
Jacobs also was Uber's manager of global intelligence from March 2016 until he was fired seven months ago. He said some of the stolen information involved drivers.
Jacobs also acknowledged the letter that Uber stole the trade secret from Waymo and other intellectual property in the United States. However, Jacobs said his lawyer was mistaken in making that allegation. He insisted he didn't know anything about Uber's espionage team trying to steal from anything in the U.S.
Waymo claims that Uber is building a self-driving fleet, using some of the trade secrets taken by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski. Uber paid $ 680 million last year to buy a self-driving startup founded by Levandowski who left Waymo.
Meanwhile, a group of investors led by a large Japanese company SoftBank Group Corp. has proposed to buy a substantial amount of Uber shares but is seeking a big discount.