Uber Paid Former CIA Agents to Spy on Competition

In a recent lawsuit, Uber is accused of instructing former CIA agents to break into competitors’ computer servers overseas. A former security manager who worked for the U.S. taxi-app firm made the revelations in court Tuesday.

The allegations have just delayed the case filed by rival Waymo against Uber indefinitely. Federal investigators are now looking into the allegations. Uber has yet to reply to a request for comment by BBC.

Google-owned Waymo accused the San Francisco-based company of stealing driverless car technology from it in a lawsuit that was supposed to begin next week. Uber’s head of global intelligence, Richard Jacobs, claims that his former employer had used a team of former CIA agents and other spies to hack into rivals’ computers overseas.

CIA Agents Left No Digital Traces Behind

The former spies allegedly used technology that left no traces behind. Uber sacked Jacobs in April, but the reason for the dismissal remains unclear.

Waymo also accuses a former Google car engineer, Anthony Levandowski, of stealing trade secrets from Google’s driverless car division and using them to found his own self-driving company called Otto.

Uber bought Otto last year.

Google claims that the engineer stole 14,000 files from its servers before leaving the company after nine years. The documents described a revolutionary technology that allowed vehicles’ sensors to spot the surroundings. The technology is called light detection and ranging (Lidar, in short).

Waymo sued Uber in May this year. One month later, Uber said it had sacked Levandowski because the engineer refused to comply with a court order to give investigators evidence and allow them to search his devices.

On Tuesday, the trial between the two tech giants was postponed indefinitely. A San Francisco judge said it would be an “injustice” to start the lawsuit so soon as new evidence has surfaced.
Image Source: Wikimedia

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