Uber allegedly “withheld evidence” on “unlawful schemes” by encouraging its employees to use disappearing message apps.
According to CNBC, “hours” of testimony on Tuesday as part of the lawsuit between Uber and Google-parent company Alphabet’s autonomous car company Waymo were dedicated to a letter from an ex-Uber employee who claimed that the company kept “unlawful schemes from seeing the light of day.”
“The former analyst, Richard Jacobs testified that there was a directive for Uber employees to use disappearing chat apps like Wickr,” reported CNBC. “In his letter, Jacobs said that Uber sent employees to Pittsburgh (where it’s developing its autonomous vehicles) to ‘educate’ them on how to prevent ‘Uber’s unlawful schemes from seeing the light of day.'” CNBC also reported that the ex-employee “made other bombshell allegations” in his letter, including claims that employees were trained to “impede” ongoing investigations against the company.
“Uber hired several contractors that employed former CIA agents to help infiltrate its rivals’ computers overseas, Jacobs said during questioning,” CNBC reports, adding, however, that, “He also backed away from some of the allegations in the letter, much of which was redacted from public view.”
It was also revealed that the ride-hailing company is facing a federal investigation over “allegations that Uber deployed an espionage team to plunder trade secrets from its rivals” as a result of Jacobs’ letter.
In May, Uber fired senior engineer Anthony Levandowski after he refused to return allegedly stolen documents to his previous employer, Waymo. In June, Waymo claimed former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was aware that one of his engineers was in possession of the documents.
The documents are reported to have been “trade secrets” and intellectual property of Waymo, which works on autonomous cars.